Virginia Republicans Kill Bill To Enshrine the Automatic Restoration of Voting Rights in Virginia’s Constitution
Richmond, VA — Earlier today, Virginia Republicans killed a constitutional amendment that would have automatically restored the rights of returned citizens who have served their time and paid their debt to society–allowing racist Jim Crow-era policies that disenfranchise Virginians to continue.
In the past eight years, Virginia Democrats made it a priority to restore the rights of returning citizens, restoring voting rights for hundreds of thousands of Virginians. And, now Republicans are stopping this progress with another head on attack on voting rights in an attempt to continue restricting access to the ballot.
Governor Youngkin’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Nominee Kay Coles James said this on the issue of restoration of voting rights:
“I know that this particular governor is one who is a governor who believes in second chances, and a governor that believes in justice and mercy. So, I think you’re gonna be pleased at what you see in this area of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.”
It is clear that Governor Youngkin and his nominees are continuing to mislead Virginians and hide their true agenda – but actions speak louder than words and today Republicans showed their true colors.
DPVA Chair Susan Swecker released the following statement: “Governor Youngkin’s administration has been nothing but false promises and attacks on Virginians’ most fundamental rights. Today, instead of righting historical wrongs and ending racist laws that prevent people from accessing the ballot, Republicans chose to maintain the status quo. People make mistakes and once they have paid their debt to society they deserve to return as full and active participants in their communities and in our democracy. Governor Youngkin and Virginia Republicans are denying Virginians the opportunity at a second chance.”