RICHMOND, Va. – In response to Secretary Lyn McDermid’s reply to ACLU of Virginia’s letter about the cancellation of the voting rights of 17,368 Virginians just weeks before a critical election, ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Mary Bauer released the following statement:
“Virginia governors have historically restored Virginians’ voting rights – not removed them. Yet rather than providing information about how this happened, how voters will be notified, or how many people were impacted, Secretary McDermid’s letter attempts to pass the buck to local registrars to take responsibility for the mess the administration created.
“The simple fact is that potentially thousands of Virginians still don’t have voting rights who should. The administration’s claim that its error has been corrected is belied by the ongoing reports we are still receiving now from people who have yet to have their voting rights reinstated – as well as reports from others who are afraid they’ll be punished if they ask for them back.
“No administration should get to pick and choose who gets to vote, and that includes this one. The Virginia State Police and Board of Elections still need to rectify the error they made by illegally purging eligible people from the voter rolls just weeks before a critical election. Time is of the essence, and Virginia can’t wait.”