“This restoration is only one of many obstacles that is so necessary to overcome for me as a returning citizen. I understand that my overcoming challenges, like getting my rights restored, are just as important for the next returning citizen as it is for me personally. This example that we, with the help of the Governor, have set will influence and encourage so many behind us to stand up as citizens and be accountable.”
“It means that society has given me another chance and I can start over again in society and exercise my civic duty. A lot of times, people do not get a second chance. I want to make it right, as I am glad I received a second chance. Restoration of my rights means that my life is now ‘whole.’ Not only have I started over again spiritually, occupationally, and in other aspects of my life, now I have started over again in fulfilling my civic duties and responsibilities. I thank the Governor for allowing me to have a second chance.”
“You can't imagine how worthless and hollow it feels to know that you have an opinion, a stake in this country, and you don't have a say in any of it. The right to vote is your right to have a say in this country. I feel like I have a place among the citizens of the United States again. I served my country with honor for 20 years, committing my crime after I retired. I missed being an American citizen. Governor McAuliffe has given me the chance to be a complete citizen again, something I hold dear.”
“I appreciate the Governor focusing attention on restoring rights to me and other persons with felony convictions. I especially appreciate the Governor’s perseverance and not giving up after the Supreme Court struck down his April 22nd Executive Order.”
Are your rights restored?
Anyone convicted of a felony in Virginia automatically loses their civil rights - the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for office, become a notary public and carry a firearm. The Constitution of Virginia gives the Governor the sole discretion to restore civil rights, not including firearm rights. Individuals seeking restoration of their civil rights are encouraged to contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.