05-28-2017  1:28 pm      •     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum Hosts Upstanders Festival May 27

Event includes spoken word, workshops and poster making in support of social justice ...

Happy Memorial Day

The Skanner wishes readers a safe and happy Memorial Day ...

North Portland Library Announces June Computer Classes

Upcoming courses include Introduction to Spreadsheets, What is the Cloud? and Learn Programming with Games ...

Merkley to Hold Town Hall in Clackamas County

Sen. Jeff Merkley to hold town hall in Clackamas County, May 30 ...

NAACP Monthly Meeting Notice, May 27, Portland

NAACP Portland invites the community to its monthly general membership meeting ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Ensuring the Promise of the Every Student Succeeds Act

The preservation of Thurgood Marshall's legacy is dependent upon our dedication to our children ...

CFPB Sues Ocwen Financial over Unfair Mortgage Practices

What many homeowners soon discover is that faithfully paying a monthly mortgage is in some cases, just not enough ...

B-CU Grads Protest Betsy “DeVoid” in Epic Fashion

Julianne Malveaux says that Betsy “DeVoid,” is no Mary McLeod Bethune ...

NAACP on Supreme Court's Decline to Review NC Voter ID Law

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks made the following remarks ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Gov. Terry McAuliffe holds up the order he signed to restore rights to felons

 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — 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 Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Friday.

The Democrat said restoring their rights to vote and run for office will help undo the state's long history of trying to prevent African-Americans from fully participating in our democracy.

"This is the essence of our democracy and any effort to dilute that fundamental principle diminishes it, folks, for all of us," McAuliffe said on the steps of Virginia's Capitol, before a crowd of more than 100 people.

Many ex-felons were on hand for the announcement, and left-leaning advocacy groups were distributing voter registration cards.

Republicans blasted his executive order, calling it a bald-faced political move to help Democrats hold onto the White House. McAuliffe is close friends with Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

"I am stunned yet not at all surprised by the governor's action," House Speaker William J. Howell said in a statement. "This office has always been a stepping stone to a job in Hillary Clinton's cabinet."

Howell said Republicans are reviewing whether McAuliffe has the legal authority to take Friday's actions. McAuliffe said he is certain he has such authority after consulting with legal and constitutional experts, including Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

The governor's order enables every Virginia felon to vote, run for public office, serve on a jury and become a notary public if they have completed their sentence and finished any supervised release, parole or probation requirements as of April 22. The administration estimates this population to include about 206,000 people. Thereafter, the governor will act month by month to restore the rights of felons who complete all these requirements.

The Washington-based Sentencing Project estimates that nearly 6 million Americans are barred from voting because of laws disenfranchising former felons. Virginia, Iowa, Kentucky and Florida are the only states that still remove voting rights for felons for life. Previous governors in other states have granted broad restoration of voting rights in the past decade, but McAuliffe's action is the largest to date, according to the Sentencing Project.

Such policies make black Americans of voting age four times more likely to lose their voting rights than the rest of the adult population, disenfranchising in1 of every 13 African-American adults nationwide. Virginia is among three states where more than one in five black adults have lost their voting rights, according to a recent Sentencing Project report.

There were 5.3 million registered voters in Virginia as of April 1, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections.

McAuliffe, who won election in 2013 by slightly more than 50,000 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast, brushed aside suggestions about political motivations, citing his longtime advocacy for restoring rights.

"This is something that's in the marrow of bones, this is something I feel very deeply about," McAuliffe said.

Before Friday's order, McAuliffe's administration had restored the rights of more than 18,000 felons — more, they said, than the past seven governors combined. Former Gov. Bob McDonnell, McAuliffe's immediate predecessor, was also a strong advocate for restoring rights.

___

Associated Press reporter Alanna Durkin Richer contributed to this report.

Oregon Lottery
Calendar
The Armory Constellations

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events