Youngkin Restores Rights for 3,469 Virginians

Governor Glenn Youngkin approved restoration of civil rights to 3,469 Virginians, according to a Friday announcement.

“I am encouraged that over 3,400 Virginians will take this critical first step towards vibrant futures as citizens with full civil rights,” he said. “Individuals with their rights restored come from every walk of life and are eager to provide for themselves, their families and put the past behind them for a better tomorrow.”

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House Republicans Block Final Attempt to Bring Constitutional Amendments on Felon Voting, Gay Marriage to the Floor

Virginia House Democrats tried one last time to pass a rule change to bring constitutional amendments to the floor for a vote on Wednesday. The amendments would automatically reinstate felon voting rights and to eliminate Virginia’s defunct gay marriage ban. They were passed for the first time in 2021, but needed to pass again this year to go to Virginia voters for approval. House Republicans killed the bills in committee, a tactic used by both parties to prevent a few moderate legislators from joining the minority party to pass bills on the floor.

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Virginia Democrats Encourage House GOP to Back Felon Voting Rights Constitutional Amendment

Virginia House and Senate Democrats are urging House Republicans to support resolutions to allow voters to decide the fate of two proposed constitutional amendments: the automatic restoration of voting rights for felons and same-sex marriage rights.

To adopt a constitutional amendment, both chambers of the General Assembly must pass two identical resolutions two years in a row, with a House of Delegates election in between those years. If approved in the Legislature, the proposed amendment would appear on the general ballot during the fall elections. If supported by the majority of voters, the proposed amendment would be adopted.

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Biden Appoints Far-Left Judge for 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Nancy Abudu

President Joe Biden has nominated a far-left judge for a seat on the bench of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

From Georgia, Nancy Gbana Abudu is a deputy legal director at the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit known for listing conservative organizations as “hate groups,” which once inspired a violent attack against the Family Research Council. 

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Leon County Supervisor of Elections Verifies Seven Felons Voted in 2020

Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Earley, told The Florida Capital Star that he has begun the process of removing seven felons from the Leon County voter registration system. Earley noted that all seven voted in the 2020 general election.

The voters were discovered by a private citizen who forwarded 12 names to Earley’s office. Earley told The Florida Capital Star that after research by his office it was determined that seven of the voters were convicted sex offenders and should not have been allowed to register to vote. Earley said further research is needed to determine the fate of the other four names.

Earley said that his office takes all input from citizens seriously and in this case there were problems with several registered voters.

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Virginia Gov. Northam Restores Civil Rights to 69,000 Felons

Governor Ralph Northam announced the restoration of civil rights, including voting rights, to 69,000 felons. In the Tuesday announcement, Northam said would restore the rights for anyone who had been released from incarceration.

“Too many of our laws were written during a time of open racism and discrimination, and they still bear the traces of inequity,” Northam said in a press release.

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Virginia Senate and House Disagree over How to Restore Felon Voting Rights

The Senate and the House of Delegates face a disagreement over constitutional amendments to end felon disenfranchisement. SJ 272, introduced by Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) and HJ 555, introduced by House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) both effectively restore felon voting rights after the term of imprisonment is completed. However, the two bills feature different language, and on Wednesday, the Senate shot down an attempt by the House to change SJ 272 to match HJ 555. Now, the two chambers will attempt to draft a compromise bill in conference.

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Virginia House Subcommittee Votes to Change Bill to Automatically Restore Felon Voting Rights After Release from Prison

Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) and House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) both pre-filed bills that would automatically restore felon voting rights after the felons complete their sentences including probation. After discussion in a subcommittee Monday, the two bills will be combined under HJ555, and subcommittee members unanimously voted to change the bills to automatically restore voting rights after the felon has been released from prison, before completion of probation or other elements of the sentence.

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Virginia Delegate Jones Files Bill to Automatically Reinstate Felon Voting Rights

Attorney General candidate Delegate Jay Jones (D-Norfolk) has pre-filed a bill that would automatically reinstate felons’ voting rights after completion of their sentence. Governor Ralph Northam is also pushing for passage of the bill, HJ546.

“If you break the law in Virginia, you’ll be punished. But right now, part of the punishment follows you for the rest of your life—even after you’ve paid your debt to society. ” Northam said in his State of The Commonwealth address. “You lose your civil rights—like the right to vote—and you don’t get them back unless the governor acts to give them back.

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