Governor's Voting Rights Stipulation Draws Criticism
For the second time in a week Governor Bob McDonnell is receiving criticism from African American leaders.
After releasing a proclamation declaring April Confederate History Month early last
week without any mention of the institution of slavery, Governor McDonnell was
denounced by the state’s African American community as well as President Obama.
He later amended the text to call slavery an evil and inhumane practice.
Now McDonnell has again angered some of the same individuals, this time for
stipulating that non-violent felons who have served their time, submit an essay
illustrating their contributions to society since their release, before they would be
eligible to have their voting rights restored.
Democratic Senator Don McEachin of Henrico is a member of the Virginia Legislative
Black Caucus and a longtime supporter of automatic voting rights restoration for
non-violent offenders who have completed their sentences.
McEachin: Governor McDonnell continues to disappoint. These are people who have served their
time, and now all they’re asking for is the most basic of rights as citizens in this democracy
and that’s the right to vote. An essay is not necessary to the process at all.
Secretary of the Commonwealth Janet Polarek stated that all applicants who
successfully complete their applications will see their voting rights restored within
90 days, quicker than under any other Republican or Democratic Governor in recent
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square.