Can a Felon Vote in Virginia? -

Can a Felon Vote in Virginia?

Virginia became the 10th state to enter the US on June 25, 1788. The capital of the state is Richmond and the biggest city is Virginia Beach. With an area of almost 42,770 square miles, Virginia is ranked as the 35th biggest state in the US. Residents who live in the state are known as Virginians. Major industries include the growing and harvesting of peanuts, sweet potatoes, and corn and the raising of poultry and pigs. Tourism is also an influential industry as is coal mining and lumber harvesting (for furniture and paper). The state also makes US Navy warships and is a major center for governmentally-based jobs.

Virginia is the birthplace of eight US Presidents, including the first President, George Washington. Washington served in the official capacity of President from 1789 to 1797. The highest point in the state is Mt. Rogers, which stands almost 5,730 feet or exactly 1,746 meters above sea level. The state is named for Queen Elizabeth I of England. She was referred to as the “Virgin Queen.” It is believed Sir Walter Raleigh suggested the place name around 1584. The nickname for the state is the “Old Dominion” while the state motto reads, “Sic Semper Tyrannis” or Thus Always to Tyrants. The state song is “Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” – the title appreciated by felons who regain their right to vote.

The law in Virginia is more regimented about the return of felon voting rights. Pursuant to an order by the Governor on April 22, 2016, any felon who has, of said date, finalized the terms of their incarceration or any duration of supervised release (parole or probation) may have their voting rights reinstated. The governor, in the future, will issue monthly orders that grant the right to vote to citizens completing their sentences for incarceration or any duration of probation or parole. You can read more about voting rights law by following this link.

Felon Voting Law in Virginia

Before 2013, Virginia was one of a few states that permanently barred a felon’s right to vote. In recent years, governors in the state have moved away from this mindset and have exercised their authority to restore rights. A succession of actions resulted in voting rights reinstatement and simplified the voting registration process. Over 200,000 people have been affected by the order that was issued on April 2016. The order restores several civil liberties, including the right to vote, serve on a jury, or run for elected office. Felons can check on their status by clicking on this link.

How a Felon in Virginia Can Restore Their Voting Rights

All felons who have had their voting rights reinstated may register to vote right away. You must register before you can visit the polls or cast a ballot in an election. Any person applying for registration must swear under oath, upon application, that they are a felon and have had their rights restored. Once your civil rights are restored by the Governor, you can request that a notation be included on your criminal record to this effect. To have a statement inserted, you need to submit a set of fingerprints taken by law enforcement on an “Applicant Fingerprint Card.”

To further determine your voting eligibility, visit the state’s Department of Elections. That site will assist you in determining if you meet all the voter criteria. In Virginia, you must be a US citizen and a resident of the state as well as be 18 years old by the next scheduled election date. If you are a felon, your voting rights must have officially been restored. You should be declared mentally competent or considered mentally competent if you wish to vote.

Felons who vote more than once during an election or include a false statement on a voter registration form are guilty of the felony crime of election fraud. This crime is punishable under state law and can lead to imprisonment of up to 10 years in prison or one year in jail. A fine may be assessed any amount up to $2,500. You can register to vote online to make the process go easier once you complete incarceration or a supervised release.

Other Resources For Felons in Virginia

Getting Started: If this is your first time to our website, we highly recommend that you visit our getting started page to understand everything we have to offer. You can do so by clicking here.

Jobs For Felons: If you're a felon looking for a job in Alabama, we have all of the resources you need including job listings by city, companies that hire felons, and our own job board. Click Here to learn more.

Legal Representation: If you're in need of an expungement attorney to try to get rid of your felony in Alabama, or need a criminal lawyer or other type of lawyer, you can get a FREE consultation by clicking here to visit our legal representation page.

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