U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement regarding today's action by a Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee to defeat legislation that would have created an automatic process for restoration of civil rights for Virginians convicted of nonviolent felonies. Sen. Warner, who served as Virginia Governor between 2002-06, initiated a streamlined restoration of rights process that restored voting privileges to 3,486 nonviolent felons -- more than all of his predecessors combined:
"It is very disappointing that this bipartisan legislation has been blocked at the starting point of a two-year process that would allow Virginia voters to weigh in on a commonsense step already in place in virtually every other state. Restoring voting privileges to people who have completed their sentences, paid their fines, made restitution and lived as law-abiding citizens is the right thing to do, and that's why I made it a high priority when I served as Governor. I encourage the Virginia Senate to move forward on its own versions of this legislation so that the House of Delegates will have another opportunity this year to consider this bipartisan approach to restoration of rights."