Constitutional amendment; qualifications of voters and the right to vote (first reference). (SJ223)

Introduced By

Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Constitutional amendment (first reference); qualifications of voters; right to vote; persons not entitled to vote. Provides that every person who meets the qualifications of voters set forth in the Constitution of Virginia shall have the fundamental right to vote in the Commonwealth and that such right shall not be abridged by law, except for persons who have been convicted of a felony and persons who have been adjudicated to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting. A person who has been convicted of a felony shall not be entitled to vote during any period of incarceration for such felony conviction, but upon release from incarceration for that felony conviction and without further action required of him, such person shall be invested with all political rights, including the right to vote. Currently, in order to be qualified to vote a person convicted of a felony must have his civil rights restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. The amendment also provides that a person adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction as lacking the capacity to understand the act of voting shall not be entitled to vote during this period of incapacity until his capacity has been reestablished as prescribed by law. Currently, the Constitution of Virginia provides that a person who has been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent is not qualified to vote until his competency is reestablished. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


10/28/2022Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/23 23100705D
10/28/2022Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/20/2023Assigned to P&E sub: Subcommittee #1
01/31/2023Reported from Privileges and Elections (9-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2023Reading waived (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2023Read second time and engrossed
02/06/2023Passed by for the day
02/07/2023Read third time and agreed to by Senate (22-Y 18-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2023Placed on Calendar
02/13/2023Referred to Committee on Rules
02/15/2023Assigned Rules sub: Amendments and Other Matters Subcommittee
02/17/2023Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (4-Y 1-N)
02/22/2023Left in Rules


Robert D Legge writes:

There ought to be data to show that persons who have had their voting rights restored and vote have a lower recidivism rate. Probation officers should not only explain this right to vote, they should be considering it as meaningful indication of rehabilitation.

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