WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) praises Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for restoring the right to vote to more than 200,000 people who have completed their full sentence, including probation and parole. His executive order will overturn one of the harshest disenfranchisement laws in the nation.
“Virginia’s disenfranchisement law dates back to the Civil War and removes the voting power of more than 20 percent of voting-age African-Americans in the state,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee. “Across the country, laws that disenfranchise people with criminal convictions disproportionately impact racial minorities. Other states across the country should follow Virginia’s lead by taking action that enables more Americans to vote and participate in our democracy this election cycle.”
The Lawyers’ Committee remains at the forefront of the fight to protect the right to vote through its leadership of Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition. Voters who need help with the voting process, including assistance with voting rights restoration, should call Election Protection’s 866-OUR-VOTE hotline. The Lawyers’ Committee is committed to promoting equal access to the ballot and advancing criminal justice reform through litigation, advocacy, and education.