After legal fight, GOP seeks felon voting rights changes

Gov. Terry McAuliffe holds up the order he signed to restore rights to felons in Virginia at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Friday, April 22, 2016. More than 200,000 convicted felons will be able to cast ballots in the swing state of Virginia in November's election under a sweeping executive order by McAuliffe announced Friday that restores their rights to vote and run for office. (Mark Gormus /Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
Gov. Terry McAuliffe holds up the order he signed to restore rights to felons in Virginia at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Friday, April 22, 2016. More than 200,000 convicted felons will be able to cast ballots in the swing state of Virginia in November's election under a sweeping executive order by McAuliffe announced Friday that restores their rights to vote and run for office. (Mark Gormus /Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Republican lawmaker is pushing for changes to the state’s policy of restoring felons’ voting rights in the wake of a legal battle with Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Del. Greg Habeeb said Friday that he has introduced legislation that would allow non-violent felons to automatically get their voting rights back after their complete their sentence. Violent felons could get their rights back two years after they finish their sentence, but they would have to apply to the governor first.

Va. Supreme Court: Governor not in contempt for restoring felon voting rights

Senate Republican Leader Thomas Norment also has proposed automatically restoring voting rights for some non-violent felons. But he wants to permanently bar violent felons from voting.

Meanwhile, some Virginia Democrats want to end the state’s policy of barring felons from voting unless their rights have been restored by the governor.

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