Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton praised Virginia’s governor “for signing an executive order that will extend voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons.” The Hill,
Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s order allows felons who have served their prison time and finished parole to register to vote, reversing a Civil War-era provision in Virginia’s Constitution.
McAuliffe said prohibiting felons from voting in the state mostly disenfranchises African-Americans.
“There’s no question that we’ve had a horrible history in voting rights as relates to African-Americans — we should remedy it,” McAuliffe said, according to The New York Times.
Virginia will be a battleground state in the upcoming presidential election. The state has trended toward Democrats in recent years, with President Obama winning it in 2008 and 2012.