July 13, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Advocates for inmates and for civil rights cheered Gov. Bob McDonnell's May announcement that he would automatically restore the voting rights of nonviolent felons. Now some are worried that the impact might not be as great as they thought - at least not right away. Others say they're just glad progress is being made.
Officials are expected to announce details of the program Monday, the day it takes effect.
McDonnell originally said 100,000 disenfranchised felons might be added to the voter rolls. Advocates are bracing for the likelihood that only a fraction of that number will have their rights restored in time to vote in November. Part of the concern stems from McDonnell's decision to reclassify burglary and breaking and entering as violent crimes. Activists hope he'll change his mind.
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