Virginia remains the only state in the U.S. where the governor singularly controls felon voting rights. On October 26, the Virginia NAACP sued the Youngkin Administration over documents related to the process by which they decide ex-felons can return to the voting rolls.
By Lauren Victoria Burke
NNPA Newswire Contributor
On October 6, a spokesperson for Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin told reporters that under 300 voters had been removed from the voting rolls because of “parole violations.” But on October 27, it was discovered that the number of voters removed was much higher: 3,400.
The latest voter-related problem occurred less than two weeks to Election Day in Virginia on November 7. All 140 seats for the Virginia General Assembly will be on the ballot in Virginia. The state now has a Republican Governor and a Republican-controlled Senate — but the Virginia House is controlled by Democrats by three seats.
Whatever the result on Election Day, Virginia will have a record number of African Americans serving in the General Assembly, over 30, for the first time in history.
Virginia remains the only state in the U.S. where the Governor singularly controls felon voting rights. On October 26, the Virginia NAACP sued the Youngkin Administration over documents related to how they decided ex-felons could return to the voting rolls. The number of ex-felons who have been able to have their voting rights reinstated has dropped under Youngkin compared to the number reinstated under his predecessor, Gov. Ralph Northam.
“On October 18, the ACLU of Virginia sent a letter to the Virginia State Police and Virginia Department of Elections to immediately investigate and remediate the unlawful removal from the voter rolls the hundreds, and potentially thousands, of eligible Virginia voters whose civil rights were previously restored,” the Virginia NAACP said in a statement in a letter to Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Susan Beals.
“Virginians deserve greater transparency regarding both the circumstances surrounding their removal and the specific steps being taken to identify and reinstate such voters,” they added.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent investigative journalist and the publisher of Black Virginia News. She is a political analyst who appears regularly on #RolandMartinUnfiltered. She can be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on Twitter at @LVBurke