about 70,000 people with prior felony convictions have been registered to vote in virginia. the state supreme court previously ruled governor terry mcauliffe could only restore voting rights on a case-by-case basis.
tammie hagen, a formerly incarcerated person working for the new virginia majority, was one of many advocates trying to help people with felony convictions get their rights restored through gubernatorial clemency. they sought to register people before the october 17 deadline.
hagen estimates she (alone) registered 600-800 people in virginia, and submitted "several hundred requests" for voting rights registration to the governor's office. hagen, 51, said, "nothing can stand in the way of this mission. this is about democracy."
about 13,000 former offenders registered to vote when mcauliffe first attempted to automatically clear them. but the court disenfranchised them (again) when they ruled the governor's actions were unconstitutional.
groups such as new virginia majority are scrambling to find suitable candidates for gubernatorial clemency. their effort is as much about overcoming weary cynicism as getting paperwork to the governor's office in a timely fashion.
- 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. email@example.com.