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Lawyers' group: McDonnell plan to change felon voting rights process needs federal approval

Anita Kumar

The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has written a letter to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) to ask why Virginia has not obtained preclearance under the federal Voting Rights Act to implement changes to the state's process to allow felons to get their voting rights restored.

The letter cites an April 11 Washington Post article that reported Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) may require nonviolent offenders to submit a letter to him outlining their contributions to society since their release as part of their application.

McDonnell's office has said more recently that no decision has been made on the changes, and that an announcement will be made in the coming weeks.

"Virginia...may not implement any change in a 'voting qualification or prequalification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting' unless and until preclearance is obtained from either the United States Attorney General or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia," the letter states.

Read the full letter.

Robert Kengle, acting director of the committee's voting rights project, said the committee has not received a response.

The attorney general's office did respond to a request for comment.

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By Anita Kumar  |  April 23, 2010; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell  | Tags: Bob McDonnell, Ken Cuccinelli, Voting Rights Act  
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Cuccinelli is probably preparing to sue over this.

Posted by: annie7 | April 24, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if this group believes McDonnell needs preclearance do make the process of restoring rights easier, as he has announced he intends to do.

Posted by: DCG65 | April 25, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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