RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's Senate Majority Leader says he will introduce a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights for some felons, and set new barriers for others.
Republican Thomas K. Norment's announcement Thursday is the latest salvo fired in the battle between the GOP and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe over restoring voting rights for felons.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2bZ0yTM) that Norment's proposal would automatically restore voting rights for some non-violent felons. It would also permanently bar violent felons from voting.
And future governors would not have the power to restore voting rights.
McAuliffe said in a statement that Norment's "cynical proposal" would be a step backward.
McAuliffe issued a sweeping executive order restoring the rights of more than 200,000 felons who completed their sentences. The Virginia Supreme Court invalidated that order.