Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 15, 2013

Voting rights returned to nonviolent Va. felons


Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — The door is open for tens of thousands of nonviolent felons in Virginia to regain their right to vote.

The state outlined the steps Monday each will have to take to cast a ballot in future elections. An estimated 100,000 disenfranchised felons are eligible.

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the mass restoration of voting and other civil rights in May. He said his administration’s goal is to restore as many felons’ rights as possible through the end of his administration.

The task, however, will not be an easy one.

The state, for instance, has no database of past felons and no electronic records were kept before 1995. The state is hiring four workers to assist with the restoration of rights and relying on advocates to spread the word.