September 21, 2013
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Two months after about 350,000 nonviolent felons became eligible to regain their civil rights, only a small fraction has done so.
The Free Lance-Star reports that Gov. Bob McDonnell's office has processed fewer than 800 new registrations for rights restoration since July 15. That's when McDonnell eliminated the two-year waiting period before an application could be filed.
Now, a nonviolent felon who has completed all court-ordered conditions can apply and be automatically approved.
Eligible individuals must register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth to have their rights to vote, serve on a jury and work as a notary public restored.
Organizations working to help individuals regain their civil rights say reaching those who are eligible is difficult because there's no list of those who have been released from prison.
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