(Let’s hope that Bob McDonnell follows through on his promises in this area. Good luck! – promoted by lowkell)
We learned last week that the McDonnell administration is changing its policies on restoration of rights for nonviolent ex-felons like myself. As some readers here are aware, my application was denied in 2008 by Gov. Kaine on the grounds that I had traffic tickets. But thanks to the new policy, I am able to reapply now instead of waiting until this fall.
Yesterday, I drove to Richmond to hand-deliver my application to Micah Womack, Restoration of Rights Director at the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. He looked at my application, which was accompanied by a letter (not an essay) and supporting documents, and said that “everything appears to be in order.” I asked him about the traffic ticket issue and he told me they are no longer using tickets as a reason to deny people, although they do look at the DMV records.
I’m in a “wait and see” mode right now. If they process the application in 60 days, as they said they would, and if my rights are actually restored, then I will have reason to thank Governor McDonnell for taking steps in the right direction (although I disagree with the process of having to petition the Governor in the first place). However, all of their policy announcements with regard to rights restoration would be meaningless if they found a petty reason to deny me again.
This brings up another question. Now that traffic tickets are no longer an impediment to rights restoration, will those who agreed with the former policy (including at least one progressive blogger) still insist that I shouldn’t have my rights restored – even though I haven’t had a ticket since Oct. ’08?