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Va. Governor Restores Voting Rights of 13K Felons

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe restored voting rights to 13,000 felons on Monday as he sought to push past a Supreme Court order that delayed his plans.

“This is an issue I have been passionate about for many, many years. I personally believe in the power of second chances and in the dignity and worth of every single human being,” he said Monday in Richmond.

“These individuals are gainfully employed, they send their children and their grandchildren to our schools, they shop in our grocery stores and they pay taxes. I am not content to condemn them for eternity as inferior, second-class citizens.”

The Hill reports:

The Virginia governor had sought to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons who had already served their time with an April executive order.

But the Supreme Court struck that move down in July, arguing that the governor didn’t have the “power to grant blanket, group pardons.”

In response, McAuliffe said he’d sign individual orders to grant all 200,000 voting rights. By Monday, he’d reached his first goal of 13,000 and said he’d continue to sign the grants for all 200,000.

Republicans blasted McAuliffe for his initial executive order and celebrated the Supreme Court decision they saw as a necessary check on his power.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has also assailed the governor’s plan, accusing him of only doing so to boost Democratic voting numbers in the swing state.

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