Letters telling more than 200 felons in Virginia that that they had to write a personal letter to the governor to get their voting rights restored were sent in error, a spokesman for Gov. Robert McDonnell told the Washington Post, adding that the potential requirement is merely a “draft policy proposal.”
The letters told felons that, “as a new requirement,” nonviolent offenders must provide a “personal letter to the Governor explaining the circumstances of your arrest and conviction.” They were also told to detail their efforts to get a job, seek education, and participate in church and community activities, and why they think their rights should be restored. The governor’s letter went on to say that failure to do so would result in applications being closed “with prejudice.” McDonnell is revamping the system for felons to have their rights restored as he works to process every application within 90 days. Other governors have taken six to 12 months to process applications.