Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s governor announced Friday that 180,000 to 200,000 former felons will be able to register to vote this year just in time for the presidential election.
The individuals who have been out of prison and are no-longer on probation or parole as of April 22nd will be able to vote. It is estimated that 206,000 people will be impacted by this.
“It is a historic day for democracy in Virginia and across our nation,” said Tram Nguyen, the co-executive director of the New Virginia Majority, a progressive activist group. “The disenfranchisement of people who have served their sentences was an outdated, discriminatory vestige of our nation’s Jim Crow past.”
McAuliffe’s mission to restore voting rights to convicted criminals has been heavily criticized. He has been accused of pushing this through in favor of his close friend, Hillary Clinton. The majority of these criminals are likely to vote for Clinton.
But, McAuliffe’s hidden agenda is not so hidden.
“It is hard to describe how transparent the Governor’s motives are,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford.) “The singular purpose of Terry McAuliffe’s governorship is to elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States. This office has always been a stepping stone to a job in Hillary Clinton’s cabinet.”
McAuliffe denies that his motive was connected to any political benefit he may receive from Clinton’s campaign. He stated that felon voting “disproportionately affects racial minorities and economically disadvantaged Virginians.” He also “reject[s] the indefinite and unforgiving stigmatization of persons who have committed past criminal acts” and “deserve to re-enter society on fair and just terms.”
Nonetheless, this will work in Clinton’s favor. But, 206,000+ is a small number in relation to the total 6 million former felons in America who are not allowed to vote. This begs the question, should violent criminals have the right to vote? Or does their opinion mean nothing because they have a blatant disregard to the law?
Editor’s note: It is so disheartening to see a leader make so blatantly a political move, without regard for the destructiveness of the act.