VIRGINIA, April 19, 2014 – Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia announced Friday that he would reduce the waiting period for convicted felons seeking restoration of their voting rights. He will also remove drug offenses from the list of violent felonies, thereby allowing non-violent offenders to be eligible for voting rights immediately after serving their sentence.
Currently, convicted felons in Virginia have to wait five years before petitioning to have their rights restored. Under McAuliffe’s new policy, which will take effect April 21st, the waiting period will be reduced to three years.
“Virginians who have made a mistake and paid their debt to society should have their voting rights restored through a process that is as transparent and responsive as possible,” McAuliffe said in a written statement Friday.
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