Civil Rights

Virginia Republicans Will Sue to Prevent More People From Voting

If you think restoring a person's right to vote is a bad thing, you're probably a Republican.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe recently issued an executive order restoring voting rights to over 200,000 felons who've paid a price and served their time. I would describe the governor's actions by saying he has restored constitutional rights, but Republicans see it a bit differently.

The state GOP has filed a lawsuit against Governor McAuliffe's orders because restoring someone's right to vote is just a partisan play for votes, they say.

GOP lawmakers argue the governor has overstepped his constitutional authority with a clear political ploy designed to help his friend and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton get votes in the important swing state of Virginia this fall.

“Gov. McAuliffe’s flagrant disregard for the Constitution of Virginia and the rule of must not go unchecked,” Senate Republican Leader Thomas Norment said in a statement.

Given that President Obama won Virginia in 2008 and 2012 without the order they're challenging today, it seems like a stretch to say the order will deliver a victory for Democrats in 2016.

Even if that were the case, to say that they'll vote for the other party isn't much of an argument against someone's legal right to vote.

Society would be much better off if Republicans took this opportunity to look inward and ask themselves why their platform may not appeal to former inmates. Why on earth wouldn't they be interested in voting for a party that believes they deserve to be marked with a scarlet letter for their entire lives even after they've served their sentence?

Republicans would rather prevent people from voting than give anyone a good reason to vote for them.