RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia Republican lawmaker is pushing for changes to the state’s policy of restoring felons’ voting rights in the wake of a legal battle with Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Del. Greg Habeeb said Friday that he has introduced legislation that would allow non-violent felons to automatically get their voting rights back after their complete their sentence. Violent felons could get their rights back two years after they finish their sentence, but they would have to apply to the governor first.
Senate Republican Leader Thomas Norment also has proposed automatically restoring voting rights for some non-violent felons. But he wants to permanently bar violent felons from voting.
Meanwhile, some Virginia Democrats want to end the state’s policy of barring felons from voting unless their rights have been restored by the governor.