Sam Levene reports on the first time voting experience of some of the 168,000 former felons in Virginia whose rights were restored by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.  McAuliffe’s Lt. Governor, Ralph Northam, won the election to succeed him and pledges to continue the policy.

“In 2016, there were 508,680 potential voters in Virginia disenfranchised because of felonies, including more than one in every five African Americans, according to The Sentencing Project. The state’s disenfranchisement of felons extends back to the 1830s and was included in the state’s 1902 constitution as part of a set of voting restrictions intended to keep African Americans from voting. Felony disenfranchisement policies vary by state, but Virginia is among four of the most severe that disenfranchise people for life.”  To read the complete article, click here.

New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice’s entry “Restoring Voting RIghts,” includes a map of current state felon disenfranchisement policies, a state-by-state guide on felony disenfranchisement laws, and information about their work in Congress on the Democracy Restoration Act  which seeks to restore voting rights.  Click here for access.