Statement by New Virginia Majority on Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Latest Restoration of Rights Process

Today, it was announced that Gov. Terry McAuliffe will not be held in contempt for continued efforts to  restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated Virginians. After the Supreme Court of Virginia (SCOVA) struck down Gov. McAuliffe’s April executive order he vowed to prioritize restoration, issuing approximately 13,000 individual orders. Since then over 4,400 of those 13,000 people have re-registered to vote. With today’s decision, SCOVA has thrown out the latest attempt to prevent formerly incarcerated people from voting. We can rest assured that those who re-registered after Gov. McAuliffe’s individual restoration orders were given will have the opportunity to exercise their voting rights in November.

"People in the community can now feel confident the process won't be derailed by any more back and forth litigation about their right to vote," said New Virginia Majority Co-Executive Direct Tram Nguyen. "Now we can focus on the important work of restoring their rights and helping them register to vote."

“This decision gives me hope,” said Christopher Rashad of Richmond, who recently received a restoration order. “Having so many disenfranchised individuals get into the democratic process make me think we may be able to effect serious change in some of the poor decisions made by elected officials.”

Those who oppose felon voting rights oppose democracy. This victory restores our hope that, in the end, justice and progress will always prevail.

Contact: Jasmine Leeward, jleeward@newvirginiamajority.org, 804-250-6514

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New Virginia Majority organizes for progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing of communities of color, women, working people, LGBT communities, and youth to create a Virginia that is democratic, just and sustainable.

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