More than 200,000 convicted felons will be able to cast ballots in the swing state of Virginia in November under a sweeping executive order from Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Standing on the steps of the Virginia capitol, the Democratic executive said restoring the rights of felons to vote will help undo the state's long history of preventing Americans from fully participating in our democracy.
Republicans called the order a bald-faced political move by McAuliffe — a close ally of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton — to help his party hold onto the White House.
"Terry McAuliffe wants to ensure that convicted pedophiles, rapists and domestic abusers can vote for Hillary Clinton," said Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle.
We sat down with five ex-felons in Richmond to see how they are going to use their newly restored voting rights. The results were surprising, considering the narrative pushed by the media.
These men were the first five to respond to a question put on Facebook about the issue. They were not selected in any order, by race, or to make any particular political point.
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