Restoration of Rights in Virginia
On April 22, 2016, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a historic executive order restoring the civil rights of an estimated 206,000 disenfranchised Virginians. Unfortunately on July 22, 2016, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the Governor could not restore the voting rights of those formerly convicted with one executive order. The Governor has decided to individually restore the voting rights of the 206,000 disenfranchised Virginians.
What does this mean for you?
- If you have registered to vote because your rights were restored under the Governor's executive order, you must wait to receive a letter from the Governor informing you that your individual rights have been restored. Once you receive the letter, you must re-register to vote before the October 17, 2016 deadline to be eligible to vote in the upcoming November election. You can register to vote by mail, at your local the local registrar’s office, or online at http://elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal/index.html.
- If you have not yet registered to vote and have not received a letter from the Governor restoring your rights, monitor the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website to check your restoration status. You must follow the instructions on the website about how to confirm whether your rights have been restored before you attempt to register to vote.
- IMPORTANT: The Secretary of the Commonwealth is expediting (or fast-tracking) restoration of rights letters for individuals who contact them about their status. Contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office immediately to expedite your restoration status and letter. You can contact the SOC online, by telephone at 804-692-0104, or mail in a contact form.
Check Your Restoration Status
Virginians are encouraged to check their restoration status online or call 804-692-0104.
All individuals who have had their rights restored can register to vote immediately. You must register to vote before voting in any election. Any individual applying to register to vote must swear under oath on the application, state that they have been convicted of a felony, and that they have had their rights restored.
Register to vote at http://www.elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal/index.html.
If you encounter a problem or difficulty obtaining your restoration status or registering to vote, contact the ACLU of Virginia.
How to have your Restoration of Rights Shown on your Criminal Record
Once your civil rights have been restored by the Governor, you may have a notation added to your Virginia Criminal Record showing your Restoration of Rights.
To have such a statement added to your criminal record, you must submit a complete set of fingerprints, taken by a law enforcement agency on an “Applicant Fingerprint Card.” Click here for further instructions.
Need More Information or Have Questions?
Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Restoration of Rights Division
P.O. Box 2454, Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 692-0104 or 1-855-575-9177
Virginia Voter Restoration Project
ACLU of Virginia, 701 E. Franklin St., Ste. 1412, Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 644-8080 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about felon disfranchisement in the United States: National ACLU
Get Informed: Briefing Paper on Felon Disenfranchisement in Virginia