Help available for restoration of voting rights
10/4/2018, 6 a.m.
The midterm elections are just over a month away, and many Virginians still can’t take part in what is the most important part of the democratic process: Voting.
When a person is convicted of a felony in Virginia, state law revokes their civil rights, including the right to vote.
Unlike most states, Virginia does not restore a person’s voting rights automatically upon completion of one’s sentence. Instead, disenfranchised Virginians must ask the governor to restore their rights.
But people with prior felony convictions should not feel that the rights restoration process is hopeless. In fact, it’s easier than ever for previously convicted Virginians to apply to restore their rights through the state Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.
Anyone who is confused about the process or has questions can reach out to Revive My Vote, a nonpartisan student volunteer project at the William & Mary Law School. By calling our hotline, disenfranchised Virginians can find the status of their voting rights and apply to get them back if need be.
Although thousands of Virginians already have regained the right to vote, there are still many more people who are eligible.
Restoring your voting rights has never been easier. If you or someone you know needs help in doing so, please leave us a message at (844) 932-8683 or email us at revivemyvote.com.
We’re happy to assist you, no matter who you’d like to vote for.
The writer is deputy director of Revive My Vote and a third-year law student at the William & Mary Law School.