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Criminals For Clinton

Virginia's Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order restoring the voting rights of 206,000 ex-felons, a far-reaching action the governor claimed was meant to remedy Virginia’s “long and sad history” of supposedly suppressing African-American votes.

McAuliffe's move, coming in a turbulent presidential election year, angered Republicans, who said he was abusing his power solely to help longtime crony Hillary Clinton win a battleground state by putting more likely Democratic voters on the books.

The governor’s order applies to all violent and nonviolent felons who have finished their sentences, even those who have not applied to have their rights restored. Previous state governors have restored such rights on a case by case basis, but no-one has ever done so for category of offenders at the stroke of a pen. The order is a history-making departure from Virginia’s policy of permanent disenfranchisement for people convicted of serious crimes.

“We benefit from a more just and accountable government when we put trust in all of our citizens to choose their leaders,” McAuliffe said from the steps of the state Capitol. “It has taken Virginia many centuries, unfortunately, to learn this lesson. But today, we celebrate its truth.”

Virginia is one of 10 states that do not automatically restore rights upon completion of a felony sentence and one of only four that require an application by the felon and action by the governor, according to McAuliffe.

Supporters cheered McAuliffe for what they called a bold step that will give ex-offenders the opportunity to participate fully in civic life. Opponents railed against what they called a potentially unconstitutional government overreach that will further damage relations between the governor and the Republican-led legislature.

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