Judicial Watch plans to sue Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who issued a sweeping order that granted 206,000 felons the right to vote just months before the 2016 presidential election.
“Plaintiffs are registered voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, 206,000 felons who, by law, should be ineligible to vote, are being, and will be, registered and permitted to vote. Unless an injunction is granted, Plaintiffs lawful votes will be cancelled out, and their voting power will be diluted, by votes cast by individuals who are not eligible to vote under Virginia’s laws and Constitution,” the lawsuit states.
The Virginia Constitution states voting rights can be restored on a case-by-case basis and only after an official review of the individual, Judicial Watch said. A blanket restoration of all felons’ voting rights is illegal. The lawsuit aims to make sure no felons appear on voting rolls as eligible voters — the felon vote is overwhelmingly Democratic and could swing the crucial state for Hillary Clinton in the general election.
McAuliffe and the Clintons are close allies: McAuliffe co-chaired Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign, served as the head of the Democratic National Committee, chaired Hillary’s 2008 primary run, and never ruled out serving as her running mate in 2016.
McAuliffe’s order made no exceptions for violent felons, including murderers and rapists.