The Washington Post reports that Friday, April 22, 2016, by signing an executive order, Virginia’s Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe has enabled more than 200,000 ex-cons who have completed their sentences and been released from supervised probation or parole, to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
McAuliffe cloaked his decision with the mantle of restoring the rights of citizenship to convicted felons, saying, “Once you have served your time and you’ve finished up your supervised parole. . .I want you back as a full citizen of the commonwealth. I want you to have a job. I want you paying taxes, and you can’t be a second-class citizen.” Blah, blah, blah.
Already in Virginia, 18,000 nonviolent felons had had their voting rights restored. Now, McAuliffe’s latest executive order extends that right to violent felons. Along with restoring voting rights, McAuliffe has also restored the ex-cons’ “right” to serve on a jury, run for office and become a notary public. The new rights even apply to felons convicted in another state and living in Virginia.
McAuliffe’s move is intended to benefit Democrats and Hillary Clinton — assuming she’ll be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee — because 1 in 4 or 25% of “African Americans” in Virginia had been permanently banned from voting because they’re ex-cons. McAuliffe is a longtime friend of Hillary, for whom he and his wife recently raised $2 million at their McLean home.
Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said in a statement: “It is hard to describe how transparent the Governor’s motives are. The singular purpose of Terry McAuliffe’s governorship is to elect Hillary Clinton President of the United States. This office [McAuliffe’s governorship] has always been a stepping stone to a job in Hillary Clinton’s cabinet.”
Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of the “progressive” activist group New Virginia Majority, exulted: “It is a historic day for democracy in Virginia and across our nation. The disenfranchisement of people who have served their sentences was an outdated, discriminatory vestige of our nation’s Jim Crow past.” Blah, blah, blah.
McAuliffe will have to sign an identical executive order every month for the remaining two years of his term to cover violent felons who get out of prison each month. The next governor could easily reverse the designation for future felons by ending McAuliffe’s practice. Virginia governors serve one four-year term and there’s an election in 2017.
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds