VA Gov's Restoration of Voting Rights to 4,843 Felons Bolstered by New Guide

By Penny Starr | September 3, 2013 | 3:56pm EDT

Virginia's Republican Governor Bob McDonnell. (AP)

( – Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has restored the voting and other civil rights of 4,843 “non-violent” felons in Virginia since taking office, more than any other governor with that authority, according to the Associated Press.

And now the some 100,000 more “non-violent” felons  that could be added to the list under McDonnell’s watch, according to the governor, can get help from a 71-page publication released late last month by the Advancement Project. It’s entitled the “Virginia Civil Rights Restoration Guide.”

“Taking steps to restore your rights is courageous,” the introduction of the guide states. “We understand that you have been through a lot, and we want to support you in this effort.”

Virginia is one of four states (Florida, Iowa and Kentucky) that put a lifetime ban on voting and other civil rights, unless it is reversed by the governor.

(Associated Press Photo)

In 2010, McDonnell accelerated the process for rights reinstatement to “non-violent” felons to 60 days and, to date, some 4,843 felons have been approved.

In May, McDonnell lifted the 2-year waiting period required of felons to be removed from disciplinary action so that their right to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury or be certified as a notary public is restored as soon as possible.

The new guide provides a list of “non-violent” felonies that could be eligible for rights restoration:

• Bank Fraud

• Breaking & Entering under VA Code 18.2-92: Sentencing

Commission Code BUR2219-F6 (Unless committed with a deadly weapon)

• Credit Card Theft/Credit Card Fraud/Credit Card Forgery

• Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated,

3rd or Subsequent Offense

• Drug Possession (must not be Drug Possession with the

Intent to Distribute)

• Embezzlement

• False Statement on Firearm Transaction Record

• Felonious Shoplifting/

Concealment/Price Altering

• Felony Eluding Police

• Forgery

• Grand Larceny

• Habitual Offender

• Identity Theft

• Issuing Bad Checks/Worthless Checks

• Mail Theft/Mail Fraud

• Obtain Money by False Pretenses

• Perjury

• Petit Larceny, 3rd or Subsequent Offense

• Possession of Burglarious Tools

• Prescription Fraud/Obtain Drugs by Fraud

• Statutory Burglary under VA Code 18.2-91; Sentencing

Commission Code BUR2213-F9 or BUR2216-F9

(Unless committed with a deadly weapon)

• Unlawful Possession of a Concealed Weapon

• Uttering (misrepresenting and distributing a false document)

• Welfare Fraud

The guide also includes an eligibility checklist, frequently asked questions, and official forms.

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