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National Lawyers’ Committee Applauds Virginia Governor’s Action Restoring Voting Rights to More Than 200,000 People

For Immediate Release April 22, 2016


Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) praises Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for restoring the right to vote to more than 200,000 people who have completed their full sentence, including probation and parole. His executive order will overturn one of the harshest disenfranchisement laws in the nation.

“Virginia’s disenfranchisement law dates back to the Civil War and removes the voting power of more than 20 percent of voting-age African-Americans in the state,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee. “Across the country, laws that disenfranchise people with criminal convictions disproportionately impact racial minorities. Other states across the country should follow Virginia’s lead by taking action that enables more Americans to vote and participate in our democracy this election cycle.”

The Lawyers’ Committee remains at the forefront of the fight to protect the right to vote through its leadership of Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition. Voters who need help with the voting process, including assistance with voting rights restoration, should call Election Protection’s 866-OUR-VOTE hotline. The Lawyers’ Committee is committed to promoting equal access to the ballot and advancing criminal justice reform through litigation, advocacy, and education.


About The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers' Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The Lawyers' Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of "Moving America Toward Justice." The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.

For more information about the Lawyers' Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

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