Repost from MSN.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a conservative Republican who has typically projected a tough-on-crime image, announced Friday that he has restored voting and other civil rights to 3,496 ex-felons.
“I am encouraged that over 3,400 Virginians will take this critical first step towards vibrant futures as citizens with full civil rights,” Youngkin said in a written statement. “Individuals with their rights restored come from every walk of life and are eager to provide for themselves, their families and put the past behind them for a better tomorrow.”
In most states, convicted felons automatically regain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentences. Virginia is one of 11 that permanently strip citizens of the right to vote upon conviction of a felony, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Felons here also lose the right to possess a firearm, hold public office, serve on a jury or as a notary.
But the Virginia Constitution gives the governor the power to restore most of those rights once a felon has completed his or her sentence. The one exception is firearms rights, which only a Circuit Court judge can restore.