democratic governor of virginia terry mcauliffe issued an unprecedented executive order to immediately restore voting rights to an estimated 200,000 people. each of these individuals have completed their felony prison, probation and parole sentences.
virginia is one of four u.s. states, along with florida, iowa and kentucky, to disenfranchise all people with felony convictions for life, unless they can secure a pardon from their governor. mcauliffe's decision will remain in effect until at least the end of his term in 2018.
this order does not cover people who are released in the future. according to his aides, mcauliffe intends to issue similar executive orders each month to continue to restore voting rights to people as they complete their sentences.
mcauliffe said, "there's no question that we've had a horrible history in voting rights as relates to african-americans; we should remedy it." virginia previously had the fourth highest rate of felony disenfranchisement in the nation - and the third highest for black people.
marc mauer, executive director of the sentencing project said, "this will be the single most significant action on disenfranchisement that we've ever seen from a governor. it's noteworthy that it's coming in the middle of the term, not the day before he leaves office. so there may be some political heat but clearly he's willing to take that on, which is quite admirable."
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.