Virginia GOP filed lawsuit to block felons from voting

ALANNA DURKIN RICHER | 5/29/2016, 4:52 a.m.
Virginia Republicans asked the state’s highest court Monday to block more than 200,000 felons from voting in November, arguing that ...
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“Our democracy works best when everyone has an equal opportunity to make his or her voice heard. Virginia Republicans would be better served by competing based on their ideals rather than resorting to partisan parlor tricks to win elections.”

GOP leaders said Monday that the governor’s action is already having potentially harmful unintended consequences, citing a recent Washington Post story that said it has made it easier for ex-felons to have their gun rights restored. Without having to go through the process of having their civil rights reinstated, felons who’ve finished their sentences can now go straight to a judge and ask for their gun rights back, the newspaper reported.

McAuliffe’s administration stresses that it would still ultimately be up to a judge to decide whether any felons should be allowed to carry a weapon.

Republicans expressed urgency in ensuring the court addresses the matter before November, but acknowledged there’s likely nothing they can do to prevent felons who’ve registered to vote from participating in the upcoming primary elections. On June 14, GOP candidates for Congress are facing off in the 2nd, 4th and 6th Districts. Democrats will also choose a general election candidate for the 4th District next month.

Robyn H. Jimenez/The Dallas Examiner contributed to this report.