Gov. Terry McAuliffe planned on restoring voting rights for 200,000 felons in Virginia. The Virginia Republican Party filed a lawsuit, claiming that the governor had overstepped his authority with the blanket pardon. In the end, the State Supreme Court ruled that McAuliffe could not restore voting rights to convicted felons en masse. The governor remained adamant that he will restore these rights, and vowed to circumvent the court by granting individual pardons. Well, the first 13,000 are ready to go—thanks to the power of the autopen—according to Laura Vozzella of The Washington Post:
Gov. Terry McAuliffe will announce Monday that he has restored voting rights to 13,000 felons, defying the Republicans and state Supreme Court justices who last month stopped his more sweeping clemency effort.These voters are most likely to vote Democratic in an effort to shift the purple state to a more reliably blue one. This will certainly boost Hillary Clinton’s chances come November, though recent polls show that the Old Dominion is all but lost to her regardless.
At noon Monday, it said, he will appear at the Civil Rights Memorial on Capitol Square “to make major restoration of rights announcement.”
A McAuliffe spokeswoman, Christina Nuckols, declined to provide more information.
McAuliffe will announce that he has restored voting rights to the 13,000 felons, making them free to register once again, according to the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose his plans. McAuliffe also will lay out his plans to restore rights to the remainder of the 200,000.