• The ACLU of Virginia Wants Inmates to Vote. Do Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam Agree?

    — Only two states, Vermont and Maine, allow felony inmates to vote —

    After last year’s actions by Governor McAuliffe, Republicans in the General Assembly introduced a number of bills related to the restoration of felon voting rights.

    Remarkably, the ACLU of Virginia opposed all GOP efforts at compromise. Why? Because they don’t allow felony inmates currently serving a sentence to vote. Not those released, not those on probation, not those who have served their time.

    No, they argue that those currently in prison for committing felonies should be allowed to vote.

    From the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star (emphasis added):

    “The ACLU of Virginia, which has a long history of fighting felon disenfranchisement in Virginia, is opposed to both GOP bills after taking the position that no one should lose the right to vote for any crime.”

    “‘Our bottom line now is the right to vote is the right to vote,’ said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. ‘It’s time to stop thinking about that as something that somebody gives you. It is yours.'”

    Statement of RPV Chairman John Whitbeck:

    “People of goodwill can and do disagree over when rights should be restored to former felons. It’s an appropriate matter for debate at the General Assembly. But to argue that every inmate serving time for murder or rape at Red Onion or Wallens Ridge should be able to vote is simply beyond the pale.”

    “To date, neither Ralph Northam nor Tom Perriello have been asked – nor offered to to say – whether or not they’d continue Terry McAuliffe’s blanket rights restoration policy.”

    “Perhaps the more pressing question is do they agree with the ACLU’s radical position that felony inmates serving time should be able to get an absentee ballot at taxpayer expense? During the Democrats’ race to the left, I don’t expect an answer – because the only acceptable answer to the far left is ‘yes.'”

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