The Honorable Bob McDonnell
Commonwealth of Virginia
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Dear Governor McDonnell:
I am writing to ask you to restore the voting rights of ex-offenders upon their release from prison. Virginia is one of only four (4) states that permanently denies voting rights to people convicted of felonies, thus forever disenfranchising them from our communities.
As Governor, you have sole power under the Constitution of Virginia to restore
voting rights to former felons. Under the current case-by-case application process, people are discouraged from applying due to the financial barriers. After all, Article One, Section Six of the Constitution of Virginia provides, “that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right to suffrage…”Don’t we want these returning individuals to have ‘common interest with’ and ‘attachment to our communities?
Please save Virginia taxpayers money by doing away with the expensive bureaucracy of past administrations and increase the likelihood of successful reintegration for our returning neighbors by simply restoring the voting rights of ex-felons upon their release from prison.
It is estimated that 400,000 people in Virginia cannot vote due to a felony convictions, and a disproportionate number, 300,000 plus are African-American men. For people who have paid their debt to society through imprisonment imposed by the courts, it seems that re-entering Virginia society should include exercising their responsibilities to vote.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.
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RIHD Voting Right Campaign