Constitutional amendment; restoration of civil rights to persons convicted of nonviolent felonies. (HJ78)

Introduced By

Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Constitutional amendment(first resolution); qualifications to vote; restoration of civil rights. Authorizes the General Assembly to provide by law for the restoration of civil rights for persons convicted of nonviolent felonies who have completed service of their sentences subject to the conditions, requirements, and definitions set forth in that law. The present Constitution provides for restoration of rights by the Governor. The amendment retains the right of the Governor to restore civil rights and adds an alternative for restoration of rights pursuant to law for nonviolent felons. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/07/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14101609D
01/07/2014Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
02/12/2014Left in Privileges and Elections


ACLU-VA Voting Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports automatic restoration of civil rights, including the right to vote, for all individuals convicted of felonies, regardless of the type of felony. This legislation does not provide for automatic restoration, but would amend the Virginia Constitution to give the General Assembly authority to pass a law restoring the civil rights of individuals convicted of nonviolent felonies. Virginia is one of only four states that permanently disenfranchises its citizens. More than 350,000 Virginians live in the community and pay taxes, but cannot vote despite fully completing their sentences. While any legislation that ends felony disenfranchisement in Virginia is favorable, a constitutional amendment that automatically restores civil rights is preferable and more efficient to remedy this unfair law.