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Northam Gives Back Voting Rights To Nearly 11,000 Virginians Previously Convicted Of Felonies

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam restored the right to vote, serve on a jury, run for public office and become a notary public for nearly 11,000 people previously convicted of a felony, his office announced Tuesday.

“I believe in second chances and making our Commonwealth more open and accessible to all,” Northam said in a release.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, accompanied by his wife Pamela Northam announces he will not resign during a news conference Richmond, Virginia, U.S. February 2, 2019. REUTERS/ Jay Paul

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, accompanied by his wife Pamela Northam announces he will not resign during a news conference Richmond, Virginia, U.S. February 2, 2019. REUTERS/ Jay Paul

Northam’s move comes as Virginia politicians are under fire. (RELATED: Staffer Of Northam’s Yearbook Says Students Chose Their Personal Yearbook Page Photos)

Prominent Democratic politicians called for the governor’s resignation after a resurfaced picture showing one person in a Ku Klux Klan costume and another in blackface appeared on his 1984 medical school yearbook page. He also faced heat for his remarks on late-term abortion days before the yearbook picture controversy.

The state’s Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to wearing blackface at a 1980 party and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is facing sexual assault allegations.

Virginia is not the first state to grant voting rights to convicted felons. Florida voters elected to give back the right to 1.5 million convicted felons in November 2018. House Democrats also introduced a nearly 600-page “For The People Act,” which includes a proposal to restore voting rights for convicted felons who completed their prison sentences.

Northam’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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