The McDonnell administration has restored the civil rights of 6,874 non-violent felons. That’s an all-time high for a Virginia gubernatorial administration, claims a statement from the Governor’s Office. But there is more work to be done, so Governor Bob McDonnell will include money in his proposed budget next year to supplement the work of six staffers already employed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. Said McDonnell:

When an individual has done their time, and paid their fines, costs, and other obligations, they deserve the opportunity to rejoin our democracy in full. That is why we moved 90 days ago to put in place Virginia’s first-ever automatic, individualized, restoration of rights process. I want every individual who is qualified to participate in this process, and gain back one of their most sacred rights: the right to vote. … In the past few months we’ve added staff and resources to handle an increase in demand for rights restoration. … I remain fully supportive of passage of a constitutional amendment to provide for the automatic restoration of rights for non-violent felons.

These reforms are long overdue. Interesting how it’s a Republican governor who is making this happen. But that doesn’t stop Democrats from foaming at the mouth over “voter suppression.” The latest is a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party of Virginia against McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the state elections board claiming that tens of thousands of voters are at risk of being disenfranchised. The offense? Sharing lists with registrars of voters registered to vote in two or more different states! That lawsuit follows on the heels of the voter ID law.

It’s all part of the vile and despicable Democratic Party game plan to tar Republicans as racist on the grounds that the “voter suppression” laws target minorities, especially blacks. In the real world, Bob McDonnell is doing more to help restore black voting rights than any Democratic governor in a generation, perhaps ever.


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14 responses to “What Happened to Voter Suppression?”

  1. reed fawell III Avatar
    reed fawell III

    I have been disappointed in this Governor recently. This action of his gives me pause to reconsider.

    1. Neil Haner Avatar
      Neil Haner

      McDonnell hasn’t been a bad Governor, all told. He’s nose-diving in the opinion polls lately because of the Star Scientific mess, but policy wise he’s been pretty even these last four years. He kept himself above the fray of most of the House’s social agenda boondoggles, ditto the Senate’s backdoor power grab, which were the two major black marks against the GOP during his tenure (again, up until Star). He actually did something re: transportation (good idea or not, at least there’s movement, and it played pretty well to the general public). The economy is doing alright when compared to other states, and any blips can be attributed to the Feds and their yo-yo-ing of our Federal workforce.

      Really, had it not been for Star and for the embarrassment that is the Tea Party Dream Ticket this year, there is no reason a Democrat, much less McAuliffe, should even be sniffing the statehouse. It’s just been a stunning collapse.

  2. DJRippert Avatar

    Bob McDonnell – Star Scientific = Great Governor

  3. ditto on McDonnell.. it boggles the mind that someone of his obvious political skill and capabilities was so blind to the ethics thing…

    re: voter suppression…

    I understand that today or yesterday was the last day to register to vote in Va. Why is that? I thought other states allow registration even on the same day.

    restoring rights to felons is not the same as dealing with all the various other “creative” ways that we’ve seen voting made harder than necessary when voting should be EASY. It does not need to be hard. You can verify identities and still allow easier voting but we all know that the GOP does not want easier voting… because the easier it is to vote – the more they lose.

  4. re: ” Interesting how it’s a Republican governor who is making this happen. ”

    just like advocating an increase in the gas tax will get the DEms called tax and spenders….. advocating restoration of felons rights would get them called “soft on crime”.

    it works the other way also. Cutting entitlements is much more likely going to come from the Dems than the GOP.

  5. Breckinridge Avatar

    Voter suppression? Millions of dollars are currently being spent across Virginia in voter suppression. That is the purpose of the negative TV, radio, mail and internet ads, and the delightful attack telephone calls that light up our phones at this time of year. Discouraging the other guy’s voters, depressing turnout, is a major goal of these campaign tactics. (Yes, the target can also be swing voters but the real target is to discourage and mess with the head of the other team. “If you can’t vote for me, at least don’t vote for him!”)

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Off year elections is the most effective voter suppression technique in America.

      1. Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi hold their gubernatorial elections during the off-year before the presidential election. New Jersey and Virginia are held in the off-year after the presidential election. These same five states also hold off-year state legislative elections.

  6. Propaganda is perfectly legal and Constitutional. On the other hand, we also do have a clear history of actually preventing people from voting – ironically often, the official reason given was that they could not pass a ‘test’ of knowledge or pay for the privilege. And that was at a time when many of the voting poor did not even have a vehicle to get to the registrar or later to vote.

    But even now, we have folks who say that we have a problem with “low information voters” – and suggesting that such voters will vote “wrong”.

    but the funny thing is – sometimes the ones who seem “concerned” about “low information”, are themselves not very informed either having spent way too much time sucking down propaganda that confirms their own biases and way too little time on due diligence.

    I’d cite, for instance, the widespread misconceptions about Social Security or about the POTUS spending us into a 17.5T deficit.

    You’ll even find those inaccuracies embedded in the laundry list of “issues” claimed to be pushing us towards Boomergeddon.

    I run into people all the time who don’t even have the basic facts straight – long, long before we get to the negative ad campaigns just prior to an election. They are totally convinced, for instance, that’s it’s Obama who has created the deficit and there is almost nothing you can say to convince them otherwise. Mind you, these are folks who take pride in their knowledge of the Constitution and how the country is governed.

    I dare say if we made questions like this – the “new’ knowledge test at the precincts, we’d take care of the long lines – no sweat.

    1/2 of eligible would register to vote, and 1/2 of them would show up to vote and after asking them the question about who creates debt, 9/10ths of them would go home without voting.

    1. Neil Haner Avatar
      Neil Haner

      Larry – sheep voters exist in both parties. Every candidate gets their share of votes from uninformed, party line drones who eat up the BS fed to them by their parties’ respective propoganda machines (be it Conservative Radio and Fox News on one side, or the Unions, MSNBC, and the race-baiters like Al Sharpton on the other).

      I’ve often spitballed the idea that we should have some sort of civics test to license voters, administered similarly to a driver’s test (heck, it could just be part of the HS curriculum, taught in 11th grade Social Studies). Of course it would never fly Constitutionally, given the callbacks to Jim Crow and all. But I suspect that were it administered, it would wipe out a fairly equal number of voters on both sides of the party line.

      Last year I was sitting at a conference table with two coworkers killing time before a meeting began. One (college educated, white collar professional, immigrated from an allied Western nation) was prepping for the US citizenship test. The other was another highly educated, very well-off, very conservative “everything Obama does is wrong” type. So out of curiosity we asked the first coworker to give us some questions that one might see on the citizenship test; the example questions in their book covered the stuff you would expect in any HS-level civics or US history lesson. Electoral college, difference between Senators and Representatives, some really simple US history questions about founding fathers and famous generals and such. And coworker #2 got just about every one of them wrong. It boggled my mind.

      (For those curious what those types of questions might be, here’s a link to sample questions from the Feds: Link

      It scares me that most of our electorate could be considered “uninformed.” Ignorance is not exclusive to any race or class, but is instead likely endemic across the entire voter spectrum. But it’s the system of government we’ve chosen, and on the whole it hasn’t failed us yet.

  7. Neil – the hit on the left is not that they are more socialistic than ignorant.

    They actually do not represent themselves as informed about how govt, the Constitution or laws “work”. They just assume that any of these things can be changed to suit what voters want.

    But those on the right represent themselves as “schooled” on how govt works and what the Constitution intended (or not) and what laws are legal (or not) in their “considered” view.

    They actually pride themselves as being much more informed about these things that the “loon left” where “anything goes”.

    the folks on the looney left don’t know that the POTUS can’t spend money and that only Congress can – and .. they don’t care.. it’s not relevant to them.

    but on the right, they make that statement over and over as if it is the truth from God on high – when it’s clearly factually false.

    even the ones on the right that know better – will continue to parrot that kind of thing to convince others that it is true.

    People on the right would repeal the 17th amendment. People on the left are more often than not clueless about that amendment unless someone sounds the warning!!!

    Most of the ignorance on the left is basically rah rah cheerleading to get govt to do “more” . There is no basic agenda to harm govt.. to dismantle govt agencies and programs, etc.

    It’s easy to shut the left down on issues. You just say “we’re not going to fund that”.

    but consider how the right is operating now days on things like immigration, gays & lesbians, basic birth control for women, the EPA, public schools, etc.

    No people on the left advocate closing down entire Cabinets and then forget which ones!

    No people on the left advocate letting people die for lack of health insurance as was the answer given at the last Presidential debates.

    No people on the left demand to see the birth certificate of GOP leaders.

    I could go on but … geeze… there’s ignorance which can be largely harmless and there is ignorance which is dangerous ….

  8. accurate Avatar

    Back to the fact of restoring a criminal’s right to vote. Yes, I believe that if a person has served his/her sentence and fulfilled any and all requirements (fines, parole, etc) that voting rights should be given back. However, in California, many cities have instituting a new policy that the criminal doesn’t have to disclose any convictions and the city is forbidden from asking. Yes, you should get your rights back, but you should also have to own up to whatever you’ve done.

  9. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Bacon is mixing apples and oranges as he often does.

    McD’s returning voting rights to convicted felons is a completely different story than a sloppy purging of legitimate voters names and requiring picture IDs and special voter cards to suppress minorities and the poor from voting in answer to a non-existent fraud charge.

  10. This week the Tennessee Supreme Court rejected a challenge by the City of Memphis and two registered voters to the State’s voter ID law. City of Memphis v. Hargett. The State requires voters to supply a state or federal picture ID. Because voters without the required ID can obtain one from the State at no charge, the Court ruled the law was not an undue burden on the right to vote and did not unfairly discriminate against the poor, elderly and others who lack driver’s licenses.

    The opinion stated, “Protection of the integrity of the election process empowers the state to enact laws to prevent voter fraud before it occurs. It is within the authority of the General Assembly to guard against the risk of such fraud in this state, so long as it does not do so in an impermissibly intrusive fashion.”

    The City of Memphis tried to argue its library cards with photos constituted sufficient ID, but local IDs are not state or federal ones, such that the City’s argument was rejected. The argument itself shows how absurd liberal arguments are. They argue there is a great burden on minorities, the poor and the elderly to be required to get a free state photo ID, but not a great burden for those same individuals to be required to get a free city photo ID.

    Peter, my understanding is that Virginia is eliminating only those voter names who are also registered to vote in another state. State law prohibits voters from being registered in another state from voting in Virginia. That’s a common state restriction on voting. People can vote only where they are domiciled. A person is domiciled where she or he normally lives and does not lose domicile by residing somewhere else temporarily. Similarly, one does not obtain domicile by moving to a new location on a temporary basis. My two kids are domiciled in Fairfax County even though they attend college in Raleigh and Norfolk.

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