It's a question we've heard plenty of times before. Why continue to punish someone even after they have served their time?
Prior to Governor Northam's announcement, convicted felons could ask his office for their voting rights to be restored after probation completion. Going forward, Governor Northam says former inmates will be able to vote immediately upon release.
Governor Northam says, "Probationary periods could last for years but that's also time when individuals are living in the community...they should be able to exercise civil rights."
Currently in Virginia, if you are convicted of a felony, you lose an array of civil rights such as voting. Northam expressed it is unfair to deprive formerly convicted felons of their rights once their time is served.