Liberals angry over felony voting rights move by McDonnell
Governor Bob McDonnell is facing criticism again from liberal and minority groups, after a decision by his administration to add another step to the process for non-violent felons working to have their voting rights restored. Virginia is one of two states in the U.S. where felons, who have served their sentence, must apply to have their right to vote restored.
The Commonwealth’s system has long been used by Democrats and Republicans for political gain. Democrats (as they have in this case) often claim that Republicans use the statute as way to suppress minority voters, who are disproportionately represented in the group of people looking to gain their voting rights back. Republicans, however argue that voting is one of the countries most sacred and fundamental rights and should not just be handed back without a careful vetting of each individual. The GOP often accuses the Democrats of pushing to have “rapists and robbers” given their voting rights back, only because they tend to vote Democrat.
Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City and a one-time Presidential candidate used this tactic against Gov. Tim Kaine while stumping on behalf of Sen. John McCain during the 2008 Presidential Campaign.
Here is a clip from our one on one interview with him at the time:
Our Laura Geller filed an excellent report that covers the important points in this debate Monday night on NBC12. She spoke to Janet Polarek, the current Secretary of the Commonwealth and the person in the McDonnell administration responsible for this policy.
Tuesday morning the Washington-Post filed this blistering editorial on the subject, calling the move “disgraceful”.
The McDonnell administration has said they will continue to meet with key stakeholders to review the policy going forward.
UPDATE: RPV pushing video of Governor Tim Kaine, backing the McDonnell position, despite attacks from the Virginia Democrats. During Kaine’s time as Governor he too, took heat from liberals who felt that he did not do enough to restore the rights of felons who had paid their debt to society.