Constitutional amendment; qualifications of voters and the right to vote (first reference). (SJ272)

Introduced By

Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate

Description

Constitutional amendment (first reference); qualifications of voters and the right to vote. Establishes that the sole qualifications to vote in the Commonwealth are being a United States citizen, at least 18 years of age, a resident of the Commonwealth, and registered to vote in accordance with the requirements set out in the Constitution of Virginia. The amendment further provides that any person who meets those qualifications has the right to vote and that such right cannot be abridged by law. The bill lifts restrictions on qualifications to vote for those who have been convicted of a felony or adjudicated to be mentally incompetent. Read the Bill »

Status

12/01/2020: Awaiting a Vote in the Privileges and Elections Committee

History

DateAction
12/01/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/21 21100635D
12/01/2020Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections

Comments

Chris DeRosa writes:

There are near 200,000 Virginians who have lost their civil rights, including the right to vote, due to a felony conviction. They must wait until completing their jail/prison sentence as well as all supervision and probation. Then they must apply to request that their civil rights be restored. Only when the Governor grants their rights can they register to vote. Most of these citizens are people of color - black or brown. Disenfranchisement is an extension of Jim Crow laws and racism. Universal right to vote for all citizens age 18 or over should be affirmed.

Robert Legge writes:

This is hard to believe considering VA was one of the worst states just a decade ago. Maine and Vermont are the only other states to do this although I'm not sure if there's is in their constitution. I still believe there is data that would show that people who have had their rights restored AND voted had lower recidivism rates. I don't know why no one can put that together. This and the decrim study bill should be big issues on the campaign trail this year.

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