Friday, January 11, 2013

Bill to Restore Voting Rights to Non Violent Offenders

 
SALT Advocates:
 
CARLA & JEAN:
 
I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU BOTH---AND CURE. I KNOW YOU HAVE STRUGGLED FOREVER TO HAVE PRISONER RIGHTS RESTORED.
I ADMIRE YOUR PERSISTENCE AND STAMINA.
 
I GOT TO HEAR THE GOV’S STATE OF THE STATE TONIGHT—JUS A FEW MINUTES AGO. THE GOV. ANNOUNCED THAT ALL
NON-VIOLENT PRISONERS VOTING RIGHTS WOULD BE RESTORED ON RELEASE.
 
THE ENTIRE SPEECH WAS MET WITH POLITE APPLAUSE UNTIL HE MADE THAT ANNOUNCEMENT TO RESTORE VOTING RIGHTS FOR PRISONERS. THE ENTIRE
GENERAL ASSEMBLY ROSE TO THE ONLY STANDING OVATION OF THE EVENING WITH YELLS AND SCREAMS OF SATISFACTION, AGREEMENT AND SUPPORT.
 
EVEN THE BALCONY WENT NUTS.   THE TIMES –THEY ARE A-CHANGING.
 
CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AND JEAN AND CURE!!! YOU ARE AMAZING. YOUR LONG HARD AND PERSISTENT FIGHT FOR THIS MADE IT POSSIBLE.
 
JOHN & SALT
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Good News! Gov McDonnell, in his State of the Commonwealth speech last night stated that he is supporting a bill for automatic restoration of voting rights for non violent returning citizens!

The assembly gave polite applause to the various topics in the speech but jumped to its feet with cheering and loud applause after this part of the speech! Below is the message from the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office quoting the Governor.

Congratulations to everyone who has worked on this issue. It is so good to see some success at last!
--
Carla

 
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Subject: [VirginiaPrisoners] Governor McDonnell Supports Bill to Restore Voting Rights to Non Violent Offende
 
Governor McDonnell Supports Bill to Restore Voting Rights to Non Violent Offenders

Governor McDonnell revealed in his State of the Commonwealth speech last night that he is supporting a bill to grant automatic restoration of voting rights to non-violent offenders. There was polite applause throughout the speech, however legislators jumped to their feet applauding loudly and cheering at this news.
The Governor stated that "we've dramatically improved our prisoner re-entry system. We want more good citizens, not more returning prisoners. Tonight, I'm pleased to announce that our Administration has now restored the civil rights of more Virginians than any other Administration in state history.
…While we have significantly improved and fast-tracked the restoration of civil rights process, it's still an executive process. As a nation that believes in redemption and second chances, we must provide a clear path for willing individuals to be productive members of society once they have served their sentences and paid their fines and restitution. It is time for Virginia to join most of the other states and make the restoration of civil rights an automatic process for non-violent offenders.
This session, Delegates Greg Habeeb and Peter Farrell have introduced bills to address this issue, and I urge you to support legislation for the automatic restoration of rights for non-violent felons."
Virginia CURE adds its applause to this development. Voting rights for ex prisoners has been a focus of Virginia CURE and many other groups over the years, with much hard work being done on this issue. It has been a long time coming. We are pleased and grateful that all of these efforts have finally achieved success!

Carla
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