Virginia is one of only three states which permanently punishes people convicted of a felony by taking away their right to vote unless the governor individually gives it back – an often long and arduous process. This archaic rule disenfranchises more than 350,000 Virginians who can’t vote but who pay taxes every year. The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and should not be a punishment in addition to a criminal sentence.
While the number of disenfranchised voters who have had their rights restored has increased over the last two administrations, individual restoration by governors is not enough. To ensure that every Virginia citizen 18 and over has the right to vote – permanently – we want the Virginia General Assembly to pass a constitutional amendment that guarantees that right. And, we want you to join the fight. On this page you will hear the voices of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals showcasing the importance of every Virginia citizen over 18 having the right to vote.