Press Release – For Immediate Release January 18, 2011
Delegate Herring works to Help Restore Voting Rights
Richmond, VA- In conjunction with several community groups and Members of the House of Delegates, Delegate Charniele Herring (VA-46), sponsor of HJ 543- a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights for non-violent ex-felons, will be hosting her third clinic to train volunteers and assist ex-felons in filling out the paperwork required to request the restoration of their civil rights from Governor McDonnell.
Delegate Herring says, “The restoration of civil rights—the right to vote is an ever-timely issue. The basic right to vote is a fundamental part of what allows people to be engaged in their community. Virginia is only one of two states that have this suppressive policy of permanently taking away a fundamental right unless there is intervention case by case at the highest levels of government.”
In Virginia, the Governor restores voting rights. On Monday, January 24 from 10am to 11:30am in conference room 7-west of the General Assembly Building Delegates, volunteers and ex-felons will gather to work on applications to the governor asking to restore their civil rights as well as learning to assist others through the process that Governor McDonnell has implemented for the duration of his term as Governor.
Herring says, “When a person has served their time, paid fines, and paid restitution they are supposed to be welcomed back into society. We have a judicial system that punishes and rehabilitates— when a person has completed their court sanctioned penalties, he or she deserves their rights without having to hope for a stroke of the Governor’s pen.”
“HJ 543 was drafted with the intention of taking a step toward automatic voter restoration, to help Virginia take a step forward. The reality is that my bill is only a small step, if passed it will allow for a larger discussion in the General Assembly about a restoration process for non-violent offenders. Our backwards way not only costs the state resources but it is inconsistent with the value of redemption,” says Herring, “While Governor McDonnell has improved the process for the restoration of voting rights in Virginia, the reality is a subjective bureaucratic process, and that process is contrary to our notion of American citizenship. Moving toward an automatic process will save not only money, but human dignity as well.”
For more information contact: email@example.com or call Delegate Herring’s office at the House of Delegates (804) 698-1146
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