RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Gov. Terry McAuliffe is making some changes to the way rehabilitated felons can have their voting rights restored.
Among the changes are shortening the waiting period for violent offenders from five years to three and giving Virginians a list of offenses that require such a waiting period.
“Virginians who have made a mistake and paid their debt to society should have their voting rights restored through a process that is as transparent and responsive as possible,” McAuliffe said. “These changes will build on the process Virginia has in place to increase transparency for applicants and ensure that we are restoring Virginians’ civil rights quickly and efficiently after they have applied and observed any necessary waiting period. I am pleased to announce that we have restored the voting rights of more than 800 Virginians since I took office, and that this policy will allow my administration to increase our responsiveness to Virginians who have paid their debt to society and wish to have their rights restored.”
Right now, violent offenders are required to wait five years after serving their time and paying restitution before they can petition to have their rights restored. Non-violent offenders may petition right away.
The new policy goes into effect April 21.