U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is joining other Virginia Democrats — and a few Republicans – in voicing disappointment with this morning’s vote by a House of Delegates subcommittee to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment establishing an automatic process to restore the voting rights of non-violent felons. Warner streamlined the executive branch process of restoring voting rights while serving as governor from 2002 to 2006, and current Gov. Bob McDonnell has further fast-tracked the process.
“It is very disappointing that this bipartisan legislation has been blocked at the starting point of a two-year process that would allow Virginia voters to weigh in on a commonsense step already in place in virtually every other state,” Warner said in a news release. “Restoring voting privileges to people who have completed their sentences, paid their fines, made restitution and lived as law-abiding citizens is the right thing to do, and that’s why I made it a high priority when I served as Governor. I encourage the Virginia Senate to move forward on its own versions of this legislation so that the House of Delegates will have another opportunity this year to consider this bipartisan approach to restoration of rights.”