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Virginia Governor Bypasses Court Ruling to Help 200,000 Ex-Felons Vote

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Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
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Gov. Terry McAuliffe is taking action to restore the voting rights of thousands of ex-offenders in the state after a court decision Friday put them in jeopardy. He’s getting around the Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling against him by signing 200,000 individual clemency grants to the state’s ex-offenders to ensure their right to vote in November. In a 4 to 3 decision late Friday, the Supreme Court of Virginia stripped away the voting rights from 200,000 ex-offenders who had recently regained full civil rights through one of McAuliffe’s executive orders, effectively disenfranchising one in five of the state’s African-American voters. But just hours after the decision, McAuliffe vowed to push back by signing clemency grants for the state’s ex-offenders one by one.

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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

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