Getting out the felon vote

Sharyl Attkisson’s Full Measure news team looks at Democrats’ push for felon voting in Virginia and elsewhere:

In nine states, including Virginia, convicted felons can only get back the right to vote if they’re individually approved by the governor or a court.


When Democrat Terry McAuliffe became Virginia’s governor in 2014, he sped up the process. In a little over a year, McAuliffe restored the right to vote for 18,000 felons – more than the previous seven governors combined…


In neighboring Maryland, Democrats are also going for the ex-con vote; this year, the General Assembly expanded voting rights to 40,000 felons still on probation or parole.


And in California, Governor Jerry Brown just signed into law a bill to return voting rights to 50,000 convicted felons while they’re still doing time behind bars in county jails…

Virginia prosecutor Jim Plowman, a Republican, is concerned because “A database was just dumped into the voter system, and it wasn’t vetted, it wasn’t looked at, it wasn’t scrubbed.”


When Governor McAuliffe wouldn’t give prosecutors the list of felons who were granted rights, Plowman, who joined a bipartisan group of 43 Commonwealth attorneys in a lawsuit to stop McAuliffe’s expedited reinstatements, “did his own detective work. He plugged in names from some of his own cases and was astonished by what he found.”

Perhaps the strangest case was that of Cerda Maquin. His voting rights were restored under the Governor’s order after he was convicted of sexual battery on an 11-year-old, even though he was never a U.S. citizen.

Why are Democrats so eager to dump as many felons as possible onto voter rolls ahead of Election Day, regardless of eligibility? McAuliffe gives the answer: “I would like everyone whose rights were restored to come out and vote for Hillary Clinton.


And they likely will. A 2014 study found that convicts overwhelmingly register and vote Democratic and concluded that “Democrats would benefit from additional ex-felon participation.”