McAuliffe Office Rushes to Fulfill Promise by Individually Restoring Voting Rights

Aug 1, 2016

Elections officials across Virginia are about to cast aside thousands of voters in the wake of a Virginia Supreme Court decision last month. It’s the latest in an ongoing drama that could have drastic consequences on Election Day.

Viola Brooks admits she made some mistakes in her life. But now she that she’s served her time for assault, she wants to move on with her life and vote. But her struggle to get her name on the voter rolls has been difficult.

“I tried and tried five or six or seven times, and I was just turned down and it made me feel bad and lonely because I was just pushed aside."

Credit Associated Press

Finally, she was able to celebrate a success when Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order restoring the voting rights of 200,000 former felons. But then the Virginia Supreme Court overturned that order. Now the governor’s office is in a mad dash to individually consider Viola Brooks’ case — as well as the hundreds of thousands of other cases. That’s outraging Republicans like Corey Stewart, whose leading the Trump campaign in Virginia.

"He may find a way with his attorneys to avoid the law, to evade the law. But it’s unethical, and in doing so he’s evading not just the General Assembly but the will of the people of Virginia."

Election officials have until next Monday to cancel the voting rights of more than 12,000 people whose rights were restored by the governor.