Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Plans To Restore Voting Rights to 13,000 Felons

National Governors Association (NGA) Vice Chair, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to restore voting rights to 13,000 felons on a case-by-case basis after Republican lawmakers and the Supreme Court of Virginia struck down McAuliffe’s executive order to restore voting rights to over 200,000 felons in July.

As reported by the Washington Post, McAuliffe eventually plans to include the remainder of the 200,000 felons he originally planned to restore voting rights to over the coming weeks.

In a 4-3 decision last month, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled McAuliffe’s executive order “unconstitutional” because it pardoned a mass group of felons without paying attention to details of each case and stating a reason for each pardon.

As a result of the ruling, the Supreme Court invalidated 11,000 felons who registered to vote under McAuliffe’s original executive order back in April.

In June, Breitbart News reported that McAuliffe mistakenly granted felons who were still in prison or on supervised release the right to vote. Some of the felons incarcerated didn’t even live in the state of Virginia.

Like McAuliffe’s original executive order, felons not only have the right to vote but have the opportunity to serve on public juries, work as notaries, and even run for office. There are also no restrictions put into place that would stop violent criminals such as rapists and murderers from registering to vote.

Republicans have blasted McAuliffe on his executive order for months, saying that his executive order was a political play to get more registered Democrats on the voting rolls in an election year.

“This office has always been a stepping stone to a job in Hillary Clinton’s cabinet. The one-time nature of this action is proof positive of the Governor’s political motivations. Instead of adopting a clear policy that can be applied equitably, he is changing the rules in the middle of the 2016 election to ensure Hillary Clinton’s victory,” Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell said.

McAuliffe’s ties to the Clintons have also been the subject of an FBI investigation, where DOJ officials investigated campaign contributions from a Chinese billionaire who donated up to $2 million to the Clinton Foundation, Breitbart News reported in May.