Virginia Criminal Lawyer Thomas Soldan On The Commonwealth Reinstating The Voting Rights Of Convicted Felons

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Governor Bob McDonnell has granted about 3,800 citizens the right to vote again since taking office.

According to, the state of Virginia is slowly starting to restore voting rights to those who have been convicted of felonies but have been able to show that they can stay out of trouble after their release from prison, or the end of their probationary period. Governor Bob McDonnell is the only person who has the ability to bestow these rights to ex-convicts, and he has given 3,800 their right to vote again so far.

Virginia assault lawyer Thomas Soldan believes this is the right way to go for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and reiterates how important it is that everybody have their voice be heard, especially during such an important election.

“As local, state, and federal elections approach, the majority of the population ponders who they will support, if indeed they make the choice to vote,” says Mr. Soldan. “But for a surprisingly large population in the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is no choice. Convicted felons lose their voting rights privileges pursuant to Virginia and federal law. It is important to note that not all convicted felons are violent criminals, in fact, a large percentage of those who are disenfranchised finds themselves in that predicament due to drug convictions and subsequent DUI convictions.”

According to that article, there are some critics, not of McDonnell’s choice to give these rights back to these citizens, but simply because he hasn’t been doing it fast enough. Even though nearly 4,000 people have had their rights given back to them, the article claims that leaves 350,000 people who are still disenfranchised. Mr. Soldan applauds the Governor for his high rate of reinstating the voting right of so many citizens, but also looks forward to more ex-convicts being allowed to vote once again.

“Virginia criminal law has many unique facets, including that convicted felons must appeal directly to the governor to have their voting rights restored,” says Mr. Soldan. “I think it is promising that Governor McDonnell has set a precedent by approving such a high percentage of applicants for restoration. The restoration process itself is quite daunting and successful completion, in my opinion, shows that an individual is committed to rehabilitation of their character and civic responsibility."

“There have been criticisms of some of Governor McDonnell's more conservative policies, but on this issue, I salute his commitment to a progressive rule of law. In addition, I hope that attention to this issue encourages more convicted felons to restore their rights while discouraging young people from risky lifestyle decision that may haunt them for years to come.”

Please visit our Virginia traffic lawyer page for more information about our firm and the services that we are able to provide throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. You can also visit our Maryland drug lawyer page for more information about that office and the attorneys who practice in that state.

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