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Gov. McAuliffe to hand over previous felon voter list to Plowman

Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman (R) will receive the list of 206,000 convicted felons who had their voting rights temporarily restored by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) last year in an order that was eventually nixed by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Plowman sought the list through a lawsuit against the McAuliffe administration last year. The Loudoun commonwealth's attorney inquired about the list after prosecutors and state lawmakers found that the governor had included in his original voting rights restoration order violent felons, those who had not paid restitution and those who had outstanding court costs.

The case ended in a civil settlement June 12, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the story.

“It's a victory for the citizenry and for the commonwealth,” Plowman told the Times-Mirror Friday. “They’re giving me everything I asked for a year ago.”

Plowman had yet to see the final list as of Friday, but he expected to review it this week.

The commonwealth's attorney was seeking the catalog after he and other prosecutors quickly found “widespread errors and mistakes” in the original order.

“We did that without much digging. We found a lot of mistakes,” Plowman said, including one felon had his rights restored yet had another felony pending against him.

According to the Washington Post, the governor, in his original order, restored rights to 132 sex offenders still in custody and several convicted killers in other states.

The now-defunct order also restored the felons' right to serve on juries, something that was particularly troubling to Plowman.

A spokesman for Gov. McAuliffe said in an emailed statement Friday the administration is “pleased to put Mr. Plowman's needless, wasteful and currently moot lawsuit to rest.”

“Nothing about the old database relates to the governor’s current individualized process, which the Virginia Supreme Court has upheld, and which has successfully restored over 156,000 ex-felons’ rights,” the spokesman, Brian Coy, said. “The governor remains committed to restoration of civil rights and hopes that Republicans will finally accept that giving people who have served their time a voice in their society is the right thing to do.”

After the Virginia Supreme Court invalidated McAuliffe's first order, the governor took a more focused and individualized approach to restoring felons' voting rights.

But Plowman said, given the error-ridden order, there is still cause for concern about the governor's continuing efforts.

Plowman originally sought the list through a Freedom of Information Act request, but the administration denied the FOIA, reasoning that the list could be exempt because it was within McAuliffe's “working papers.” That led Plowman to file the lawsuit.

Virginia is one of six states that permanently disenfranchises felons unless a governor acts to restore voting rights.

Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @TrevorBaratko.


Republicans blasting our Governor over letting felons vote once they’ve paid their dues should remember our most recent GOP governor who would still be a felon had he not been let off the hook by a GOP majority on the Supreme Court.

probably McCauliffe’s Christmas card list…

Thanks SGP. mental note… donate to Plowman.

What does this say about Democrats?  The Democratic governor is so sure that the solid majority of felons are Democrats that he’d give a blanket restoration of voting rights.

Alex1138, maybe Plowman could prosecute a criminal case.  Any case.  But apparently, he never sees the inside of a courtroom except from the gallery.

He apparently does negotiate sweetheart deals with defense counsels who donate to his campaigns though.  They appear to see him quite often.

But how else would you see him?

Vote Democrat former felons. Seems to be the message here.

we only see Plowman when the cameras are around…

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