Target: Virginia House Speaker William Howell
Goal: Drop lawsuit intended to block a governor from restoring voting rights to 200,000 ex-felons.
Republicans are trying to keep voting rights from 200,000 Virginia citizens who have served their time for felony convictions and returned to being law-abiding members of society. The political party has filed a lawsuit trying to stop the governor of Virginia from restoring this right to these citizens, insisting that he should have to grant clemency to one ex-felon at a time.
Since Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order ending the ban on voting rights for former felons, activists have been volunteering their time to sign these individuals up for the chance to get this essential right back. Organizers have described how happy these people are for the chance to once again have a voice in their nation’s path. “Before, I felt like I was left out. I felt like even though I live in America, I wasn’t a part of it,” said one reformed felon.
Our justice system is supposed to be about reformation, not life-long punishment for everyone even after they’ve served their time. Taking away the right to vote is like taking away someone’s citizenship, as well as any ability to try and make their country a better place. Sign our petition to demand that Virginia Republicans drop this lawsuit and stop trying to disenfranchise voters.
Dear Speaker Howell,
I understand that you and other Virginia Republicans have filed a lawsuit against Governor Terry McAuliffe in order to stop him from granting voting rights back to former felons who have served their debts to society. Instead of letting him efficiently grant this essential American right to 200,000 people at once, you’d apparently rather him waste time granting clemency to one individual at a time.
Ex-felons who are no longer on probation have already served their time and therefore there’s no reason to keep punishing them. People make mistakes, and taking away their right to participate in our democracy is a terrible punishment. These former prisoners have been reformed according to our justice system, and they do not deserve to be disenfranchised for something they’ve already been punished for.
The disenfranchisement of American people via withholding their voting rights is an insult to our nation’s democracy. If former felons deserve a second chance at life, then they deserve a second chance at being full citizens with voting rights. We demand that you drop this lawsuit and allow the governor to efficiently restore voting rights to those who deserve it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Michael Fleshman