Gov. Northam: Rights restored to nearly 11,000 Virginians since taking office

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Ralph Northam on Tuesday announced that his administration has restored the civil rights of nearly 11,000 Virginians since he took office.

The civil rights restored include the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office, and become a notary public.

“I believe in second chances and making our Commonwealth more open and accessible to all,” Gov. Northam said in a release.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson added, “I am proud to have worked with two governors to improve the rights restoration process—making it easier for individuals to have a second chance and move forward with their lives.”

Northam’s predecessor, Terry McAuliffe, had restored the rights of 173,166 Virginians by the time he left office in 2016 — building upon the foundation that was set by the governor before him, Bob MCDonnell, who launched the initiative to streamline the process for non-violent felons in 2013. 

So far into his term, Gov. Northam has restored the rights of 10,992 Virginians. 

The rights restoration process does not restore an individual’s right to possess a firearm, which is lost with a felony conviction. Individuals seeking to have their gun rights restored must petition the circuit court in their respective locality, after having their civil rights restored by the Governor.

For more information on restoration of rights and the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, click here.

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