Public Comments for: HB130 - Constitutional amendment; qualifications of voters and the right to vote (voter referendum).
Last Name: Siracusa Locality: James City County

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: DeVoe Locality: Arlington

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Sarah DeVoe

Last Name: Rissetto Organization: LWV Locality: Falls Church

Please support both bills.

Last Name: Hollis Locality: Gainesville

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be------with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Sincerely, Janet Hollis

Last Name: Falzer Locality: Charlottesville

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. I cannot believe that we are still fighting to protect the right of all Virginians to vote. It is the basis of our democracy! Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Kathe Wood Falzer

Last Name: George Locality: Alexandria

I strongly support a Right to Vote amendment, a constitutional amendment to automatically restore the right to vote to all Virginians upon release from prison. This corresponds to the following bills: HB 130, HB 416, HB 795, HJ 9 and HJ 72. This amendment, which passed in identical form last year, would restore the right to vote to over 250,000 Virginians who served their time but are still denied a voice in their government. Virginia is one of only two states that permanently takes away the right to vote from people with felony convictions, including those who have served their time, unless the Governor restores their right. This is retrograde and unacceptable. Pass these bills!

Last Name: Brennan Locality: James City County

I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections.

Last Name: Carron Organization: LWV Locality: Williamsburg

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Susan Carron

Last Name: Anderson Locality: Prince William County

I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Lucia Anderson 16007 Laconia Circle Woodbridge 22191 leander17@comcast.net

Last Name: van Opstal Locality: Great Falls

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Virginia's voters must be the final voice in the outcome of elections -- and all eligible citizens should have a guaranteed and unfettered right to vote. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Debra van Opstal

Last Name: Inman Locality: Barboursville

For heaven's sakes, if you deny voting priviledges ANY adult citizen of the United States of America, you should NOT have the right to charge them ANY kind of taxes - local, state, or federal. That is TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.

Last Name: Schley Organization: League of Women Voters Locality: Albemarle County

I support the right of all adults, with few exceptions as specified in the bill, to vote.

Last Name: Smith Locality: James City County

MESSAGE Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Abra Smith

Last Name: Goldsmith Locality: Washington County

Dear members of the Privileges and Elections Committee, Please vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment, HB 130. Passing this amendment would ensure that the voters of Virginia make the ultimate decision to affirm that every person who meets the qualifications set forth in the Constitution. Thank you.

Last Name: Caceci Locality: Falls Church

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bill HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Gina Caceci

Last Name: Cannon Locality: FREDERICKSBURG

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you, Sincerely, Barbara Cannon

Last Name: Jennings Locality: Abingdon

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Wetherbee Locality: Virginia Beach

I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Once a person has served their prison sentence, they should have all their rights restored. If we are afraid that prison does not rehabilitate people, then we should revamp the prison system.

Last Name: DeRosa Organization: Spread the Vote/Project ID : Arlington/Falls Church Locality: Arlington

Delegate Head, members of this subcommittee. My name is Chris DeRosa. I am the leader of the Arlington/Falls Church chapter of Spread the Vote, a 501c3 organization that is powered by volunteers in our community. I am writing to ask for your support of HJ9 (and identical bills HJ28 and HJ72) and report it to the full P&E committee with a recommendation that the committee report the bill to the full House of Delegates for a floor vote. Our volunteers have worked with dozens of returning citizens who wanted their voting rights restored. Almost all believed that their civil rights had been lost permanently, for life. Many were surprised to find out that they could have been voting for as many as 5 or 6 years because their rights had already been restored. For various reasons – homelessness, lack of access to the internet - they had not been notified. They had no clue. For years, they were denied access to one of their fundamental rights. Even now, these returning citizens must complete all terms of their sentence, including probation, and “beg” the Governor for restoration. It’s estimated that nearly 6% of registered voters in Virginia cannot vote because of a felony conviction. That’s nearly 400,000 voters. Even now, 12,000 Virginia voters are disenfranchised every year. That is wrong. They return to their communities after serving their sentences, and yet they cannot vote for the officials who will make laws and set budgets that affect their lives as well as the lives of their family and friends. We have come to realize that the disenfranchisement language in our Constitution was an attempt (a successful one) to suppress the vote of Black Virginians and other people of color. It’s the hateful vestige of Jim Crow laws from the late 1800s and early 1900s as represented by the words of Delegate Carter Glass : (we will) “discriminate to the very extremity… permissible… under the Federal Constitution, with a view to the elimination of every negro voter who can be gotten rid of, legally…” Most of those who are disenfranchised are, indeed, people of color. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Black men in Virginia cannot vote because of felony disenfranchisement. This is a form of racial injustice. And keep in mind, many were trapped by the extremely low felony threshold of $200 that persisted for 38 years, from 1980 until 2018. If you stole a phone or pair of shoes worth $201 in early 2018, you were charged with a felony. Yes, if you steal, you should be punished; but the punishment should not include permanent disenfranchisement. Virginians don’t lose their first Amendment rights or their right to an attorney while they are accused, convicted, or imprisoned. Why do we take away their voting rights? Let us end permanent disenfranchisement in Virginia. Please vote YES on HJ9 (and HJ28 and HJ72) as well as companion referendum bills HB130, 416 and 795. Let the voters of Virginia vote on the proposed amendment in November 2022.

Last Name: Kanoyton Organization: VA State Conference NAACP Locality: Hampton

The VA NAACP doesn't support legislation that limits access to voters. Hb1090 Hb149 hb121 hb 249 hb 178 hb24 Support Hj9 hj130

Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

Please move to report HJ9, HB130, HB605, HJ57, HB46, HB305, HB1102. Thank you.

Last Name: Smith Organization: League of Women Voters Locality: Hampton

Dear Privileges and Election Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be - with Virginia’s voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Joy M. Smith

Last Name: Swann Locality: Springfield

I am writing in support of bills HJ9 and HB130. I urge you to pass legislation that protects and ensures the fundamental right to vote in the Commonwealth

Last Name: McMillen Locality: Indian Valley

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Donna McMillen

Last Name: Jolivette Locality: Reston

I urge a NO vote on this bill, for the reasons stated at these links: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/pdf/LM145.pdf (especially pages 7-11) and https://www.heritage.org/election-integrity/commentary/there-are-good-reasons-felons-lose-the-right-vote. These papers lay out clear and compelling reasons for prohibiting the vote to felons in most circumstances. None of these reasons have anything to do with the race of the felon.

Last Name: Jolivette Locality: Reston

I urge a NO vote on this bill, for the reasons stated at these links: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/pdf/LM145.pdf (especially pages 7-11) and https://www.heritage.org/election-integrity/commentary/there-are-good-reasons-felons-lose-the-right-vote. These papers lay out clear and compelling reasons for prohibiting the vote to felons in most circumstances. None of these reasons have anything to do with the race of the felon.

Last Name: Kennon Locality: Henrico

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Michelle

Last Name: Casey Locality: Henrico

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Tara Casey

Last Name: Cole Locality: James City County

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Linda Cole

Last Name: McClenon Locality: LY=ynchburg

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge you to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Molly (MaryAlice) McClenon

Last Name: Kates Locality: Fairfax County

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Barbara Kates

Last Name: HILL Locality: Richmond

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration

Last Name: Konstas-Salvette Locality: Springfield

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Andrianne Konstas-Salvette

Last Name: Lowden Locality: Richmond

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Cyane Lowden

Last Name: Carpenter Organization: Chesterfield County NAACP Locality: Chesterfield County

My name is Avohom Carpenter and I am the President of the Chesterfield NAACP. The Chesterfield County NAACP supports HB130 and HJ9 by our local Delegate Mike Cherry and all the similar bills that are also carrying the same language. The passage of the Constitutional amendment and voter referendum are vital to Virginia reaching the values that we preach of being a place of second chances and to erase the stench of Jim Crow the era that this legislation was born out of. It's time that all Virginians that have paid their debt to society are able to become full citizens and full participants in our democracy. For so long I have spoken to people who have felt diminished, marginalized, degraded and second class because even after their debts were paid they were still disenfranchised and unable to complete their civic duty to their community and country. I remember the encounter I had with a citizen who had committed a crime in their youth and now in her late 60s still was denied the ability to be a full citizen. This women had been a nurse, raised her children and was a grandparent but felt incomplete. I had helped her apply to get her rights restored and 2 months later Governor Northam signed an order to restore her voting rights. She called me overwhelmed and crying because she was so overjoyed and finally for the first time in her life felt whole in our society. These bills are beyond partisan politics, its about people. Real people in our communities, families, and places of employment who deserve second chances and to be whole again. I strongly encourage members of this community and the General Assembly to pass these bills.

Last Name: Hingle Organization: LWV-PWFA Locality: Prince William County

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Judith K Hingle

Last Name: Carpenter Organization: Virginia League of Conservation Voters Locality: Chesterfield County

The Virginia League of Conservation Supports HB130, HB416, HB795, HB796, HJ9, HJ28 and HJ72. It is time for Virginia to pass the Constitutional Amendment that allows for the restoration of civil rights in the Commonwealth. Virginia LCV supports expanding access and Virginia is 1 of only 3 states that permanently disenfranchises voters. It is time that we as a Commonwealth move past this Jim Crow era law and catch up with the rest of the nation on this issue. This should not a partisan political issue but a chance that our values as a Commonwealth match the laws we have on the books.

Last Name: Kringer Locality: Fairfax Station

I believe the purpose of prison is to rehabilitate offenders not just to punish them. Therefore, when a person has successfully completed their sentence and been returned to society, they should have their voting rights returned.

Last Name: Smith Locality: Prince Edward Co.

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Robin Smith

Last Name: Joslin Locality: Fairfax

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, James and Dorothy Joslin

Last Name: Holzinger Locality: Roanoke

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,

Last Name: van Breda Locality: Fairfax County

I strongly urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. People who have paid their debt to society should have their right to vote restored and become fully reintegrated into civil society. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Let voters decide this important issue during the 2022 elections. Thank you for considering this input.

Last Name: Georgi Locality: Washington

It is my position that once felons have served their time and have been released from incarceration, their right to vote should automatically be restored, and if it takes a constitutional amendment, that's what it takes. I want to see this amendment on my ballot this fall. Please make that happen. Thanks, Laura

Last Name: Georgi Locality: Washington

It is my position that once felons have served their time and have been released from incarceration, their right to vote should automatically be restored, and if it takes a constitutional amendment, that's what it takes. I want to see this amendment on my ballot this fall. Please make that happen. Thanks, Laura

Last Name: McGLone Locality: Norfolk

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I strongly urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections.. My ancestors fought diligently for the right to vote and this important decision should remain, with each voter. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Sharon T. McGlone

Last Name: Meriam Organization: League of women voters Locality: Williamsburg

MESSAGE Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely- Jacque Meriam

Last Name: Glass Locality: VIRGINIA BEACH

I urge the Privileges and Election Committe Members to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this decision in the Virginia voters during our 2022 elections. Thank you for consideration, Sincerely, Joanne Glass

Last Name: Alley Locality: Albemarle County Earlysville Virginia

Comments Document

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Beth Alley

Last Name: Fege Locality: Fairfax

I strongly urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Virginia voters need to be able to voice their opinions on this matter. People who have paid their debt to society need to be able to register to vote. Let voters decide this important issue during the 2022 elections. Pat Fege

Last Name: Johnson Locality: Reston

Dear Members of the House P & E Committee I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Once a person has served the sentence that the judge and/or jury determined was appropriate for the crime, the person should have the rights of serving the Commonwealth and country restored. There is mounting evidence that people who do have their citizenship respected are far less likely to be incarcerated again because they have been restored to the community. Yours sincerely, Sidney Johnson

Last Name: Gatz Locality: Annandale, Fairfax County

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. The exact language passed last year and must be passed again this year. Virginia must guarantee the right to vote to all citizens, including convicted felons who have completed their sentences. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Karen Gatz Annandale, VA 22003

Last Name: Shea Locality: Stafford County

I urge the Committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and associated bills. There is no more important civil right to citizens than that of choosing their elected officials who are sworn to represent them. Allowing the voters to decide whether or not felons who have served their sentences should regain their right to vote should be decided during the 2022 elections by the citizens of Virginia.

Last Name: Sandford Locality: Herndon

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Sheila Sandford

Last Name: Tarpinian Locality: City of Falls Church

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Sandra Tarpinian

Last Name: Scheffler Organization: League of Women Voters Locality: Arlington

I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. There is no more important civic role than participating in our democracy. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you

Last Name: Herlich Organization: Please Select Locality: Henrico

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. I have worked the polls for many years and have complete faith in Virginia's voting system and voters. Let the Voters decide! Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Liz Herlich

Last Name: Corum Locality: Arlington

I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Layne Locality: Blacksburg

I am writing to urge you to vote in favor of HJ9 and HB130 to allow the voters of Virginia to decide to automatically restore the right to vote to persons who have served their period of incarceration after conviction for a crime. Voting is the most fundamental right of citizens in a democracy, and individuals who have made mistakes should have that right restored once they have served their sentence. The citizens of Virginia support the proposed constitutional amendment and should be given the opportunity to show that support through a referendum on the ballot in November 2022. Thank you.

Last Name: Brown Locality: Alexandria

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Nancy J. Brown

Last Name: Roop Locality: Fredericksburg

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Robert Roop

Last Name: Gerchick Locality: Fauquier

Individuals who have completed their terms of felony incarceration have fulfilled their debt to society. They should be able to participate in and contribute to society. Their right to vote, enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, should be automatically restored.

Last Name: Greiling Locality: Prince William

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Barbara F. Greiling

Last Name: Mayhew Locality: Fairfax

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, When I am shown past harms, such as the Jim Crow era bill that stripped felons and people under court-ordered supervision of their right to vote, I can attempt to address the wrong or ignore it. This is a past harm that I would like to be able to address. Therefore, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters like me during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Sarah Thomas Mayhew

Last Name: Christie Locality: Midlothian, Virginia

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, Those who have paid their full debt to society and have been deemed fit for release should have the opportunity to choose the people who represent them and to engage fully in civic life. I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bill: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Gail Christie

Last Name: Gershman Locality: James City County

Vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections.

Last Name: Priddy Locality: Henrico

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, N Priddy

Last Name: Valder Locality: Oakton

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Mary Valder

Last Name: Spinelli Locality: Arlington

I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. A similar bill passed the General Assembly last year with bipartisan support. The right to vote is sacred and should not need to be requested back after having served time for the crime.

Last Name: Givans Organization: League of Women Voters and self Locality: Great Falls VA

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you.

Last Name: Morris Locality: Roanoke

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members: I urge passage of all bills related to the Right to Vote amendment (HJ9 and HB 130). Please enable this process to reach its appropriate conclusion, namely each voter's ballot in the 2022 election. I look forward to my opportunity to cast my vote restoring this most precious of rights to returning citizens after the completion of their time of incarceration. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Strange Organization: Leaque of Women Voters Locality: Fairfax

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Anne Earle Strange

Last Name: Kringer Locality: FAIRFAX STATION

I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections

Last Name: Godfrey Organization: League of Women Voters Loudoun Locality: Loudoun

I am in support of HJ9 and HB130. Give the voters a chance to make this a Constitutional amendment.

Last Name: Davis Locality: Hamilton

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Brenda Davis

Last Name: Geraty Locality: Albemarle

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Anne Geraty

Last Name: Knight Locality: McLean, Fairfax County

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bill HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Margaret Knight

Last Name: Shirley and Don Payne Locality: Albemarle County

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, We urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Shirley and Don Shirley Payne

Last Name: Coleman Locality: Henrico County

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Kelly Coleman

Last Name: Zweerink Locality: Richmond

I strongly support HB 130, HB 416, HB 795, HJ 9 and HJ 72 - the constitutional amendment to automatically restore the right to vote to all Virginians upon release from prison. This amendment, which passed in identical form last year, would restore the right to vote to over 250,000 fellow Virginians who have served their time but are still denied a voice in their government. Right now, ​​Virginia is one of two states that permanently takes away the right to vote from people with felony convictions, including those who have served their time, unless the Governor restores their right. The current resolution, which takes away the right to vote for life for all former felons unless restored by the Governor, was an intentionally racist decision that we must revert. When written into the constitution in 1902, this amendment was meant to “eliminate the darkey as a political factor in this State.” Within a year of the new constitution being put in place, the number of registered African-American voters decreased by 85%. 65% of Virginians agree that everyone deserves a second chance. I strongly support the right to vote amendment because no one should be kept from participating in our democracy.

Last Name: Scotchwick Locality: Staunton

As a man of faith and Christian values, I pray that this issue be given careful consideration and truly reflect the values of our citizens. No one should be deprived of their right to vote. As a man of the cloth, I urge you all to think of Christ and how we accept all of our neighbors as equal. Doing prison ministry for decades, I have been blessed to get to know people who have served time inside of Virginia's correctional facilities. What is more corrective than being able to participate in the civic process? As a man of faith, I know that this body will do what is spiritually right and allow all of our neighbors to be able to vote. I work with so many young men and women who come to our church for forgiveness and we gladly accept them with open arms. To be forgiven and allowed to return to this society a whole man or woman is something we should all be striving to support. This should be on the minds and hearts of all of us.

Last Name: Joseph Locality: Grottos

People who are walking freely in our society have a right to vote and I hope that you give us the chance to vote and not have to worry about waiting for any one Governor to make the decision. Please support HB130.

Last Name: Parks Locality: Chesterfield

I'm in favor of this legislation, as I agree with the delegate's belief that a person should not be subjected to a lifetime sentence, by not being able to vote, after they serve the sentence imposed by the judge/jury. Upon release from incarceration, they should be able to exercise their right to vote, period. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Logan Locality: Richmond

I strongly support HB 130, HB 416, HB 795, HJ 9 and HJ 72 - the constitutional amendment to automatically restore the right to vote to all Virginians upon release from prison. This amendment, which passed in identical form last year, would restore the right to vote to over 250,000 fellow Virginians who have served their time but are still denied a voice in their government. I am a college professor who works with first year students on civic responsibility, and we talk about both the right and responsibility of voting. Virginia lags behind the rest of the country in granting these rights to formerly incarcerated people--Virginians deserve to live in a state where every single voice matters and each of us has the opportunity to be represented in our government. My students know this truth and I am hoping that this house will follow suit.

Last Name: Rovnyak Locality: Albemarle

It's time to let Virginian’s decide this issue. I strongly support HB 130, HB 416, HB 795, HJ 9, and HJ 72 - the constitutional amendment to automatically restore the right to vote upon release from prison. NOBODY SHOULD BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO VOTE FOR LIFE. If someone has served their time, they should have their rights restored; 65% of Virginians agree that everyone deserves a second chance. This amendment, which passed in identical form last year, needs to pass one more time in order for it to be on the 2022 ballot.

Last Name: Hutchison Locality: Ashburn

I strongly support HB130, HB795, HJ9 and HJ72. The automatic and full restoration of voting rights for people upon release from incarceration is long overdue. The current system disproportionately affects people of color. Denying the right to vote to those who have served time within the prism of an already systemically and historically racist incarceration system is geared at furthering disenfranchisement and suppressing their voice. Supporting these bills should not be controversial - they are essential.

Last Name: Hartman Organization: RASR Inc. - Resolutions Addressing Systemic and Structural Racism Locality: Mecklenburg County

I strongly support the full restoration of voting rights for people that have served their sentence, as stated in HB 130, 416, and 795 and HJ 9 and HJ 72 - the constitutional amendment automatically to restore the right to vote upon release from prison. The current system that denies former felons the right to ever vote again disproportionately impacts persons of color and serves to perpetuate systemic and structural racism. One’s voting rights should be automatically restored upon the person’s release from incarceration. We are a system built on the right for each person to cast their vote equally. Once a person has completed the sentence for their crime, they should not continue to be punished in perpetuity. We expect formerly incarcerated persons to become fully engaged members of society upon their release, so how can we continue to unfairly disadvantage them by denying them the right to vote and have their voices heard? Please ensure these bills are passed in this General Assembly session so that we may begin to address historical inequity and systemic racism.

Last Name: Sun Locality: Vienna

I strongly support HB 130, HB 416, HB 795, HJ 9 and HJ 72 - the constitutional amendment to automatically restore the right to vote upon release from prison. Mass incarceration has served as modern-day slave labor for this state and country, many unjustly placed being bars due to widespread systemic racism and injustice. Virginia can’t continue to be one of two states that denies the right to vote for life to anyone, unless their rights are restored by the Governor. If someone has served their time, they should have their rights restored; 65% of Virginians agree that everyone deserves a second chance. This amendment, which passed in identical form last year, needs to pass one more time in order for it to be on the 2022 ballot. It is time to let Virginians decide.

Last Name: Pomory Locality: Virginia Beach

Virginia enshrines a policy which was specifically designed to disenfranchise black and brown citizens. To be sure, the “problem is so serious that one in five Black Virginians cannot vote…even though those citizens only account for about 20% of Virginia’s population.” Indeed, over half of those disenfranchised are African American. This is a problem which should not be solved through executive clemency. Though voter disenfranchisement has been part of Virginia’s Constitution since 1868, the Jim Crow Era 1902 Constitution specifically added felon disenfranchisement to repress black citizens. As Shennette Garrett-Scott elucidates in Banking on Freedom, the political and economic success of black business, drew the rancor of the state. These efforts culminated in state Democrats calling a constitutional convention in 1901. Though the 1902 constitution affected many aspects of black life, two examples stand out. Economically, it formed the State Corporation Commission (SCC), which by 1910 was a powerful regulatory body that unduly focused on black enterprise. For example, the first black owned bank in the United States was singled out for an audit by the chief examiner of the SCC, because “its success challenged the logic of Jim Crow.” Two days after the audit began, the examiner declared the bank insolvent and placed it under SCC receivership. This resulted in the extraction of nearly $300,000 (about $8 million in 2020) from the Black community into state coffers. From a suffrage perspective, Carter Glass, Democrat and influential actor within the 1901 constitutional convention, praised the suffrage restrictions as an important step toward "eliminate(ing) the darkey as a political factor" (he also wanted to keep poor whites from voting, too). The vision of Glass did not take long to realize as only 33 voters were registered in Jackson Ward, a Richmond African-American business district, in 1903. Jackson Ward had 2,983 Black voters in the late 1890s. If the 1902 constitution was written by Democrats during Jim Crow backlash, the 1972 constitution was foregrounded in the emerging Republican “tough on crime” framework. And though the Civil Rights Movement and the Twenty-Fourth Amendment did force the state to drop poll taxes and literacy tests, it still included the felon disenfranchisement provision because it is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Importantly, Virginia still attempted to keep Black citizens from registering to vote. For example, in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case South Carolina v. Katzenbach (1966), Virginia joined South Carolina to argue that the preclearance provisions, which required states “with the worst histories of voting discrimination” to clear their voting changes with the federal government, of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were unconstitutional. The court upheld the Voting Rights Act 8-1. More recently, even the Koch Brothers support restoring voting rights because voting is the only sustainable way to achieve societal progress. However, though civic duty may be a contributing factor, they are also concerned with the cost of recidivism as the national prison system costs $182 billion annually and over 70% of those released from prison are arrested within five years. I support this bill and it should receive wide support. It is time to strike the felon disenfranchisement provision from this constitution to ensure all Virginian's can participate politically in the Commonwealth.

Last Name: Kanoyton Organization: VA State Conference NAACP Locality: Hampton

The VA State conference NAACP ate in full support of expanding to vote to ensure Democracy is met. We strongly support this bill!

Last Name: Muhammad Organization: Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Locality: Richmond

Comments Document

People from all parties and walks of life support second chances, including law enforcement, faith-based groups, families, businesses, and a large majority of Virginians. In recent polls 66% of those polled believed that people who’ve served their time should be given the opportunity to vote. The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy is a coalition of more than 25,000 people of faith and goodwill. All faiths believe in restoration. All faiths offer a path to redemption. One is not forever punished through the perpetual condemnation of their acts if they seek a second chance. A second chance—not to do wrong, but a second chance to get it right, to do right by others, themselves, and their communities. This constitutional amendment gives all people who have been formerly incarcerated the ability to earn back their voting access, one of the bedrocks of to being fully, engaged members of their community. This constitutional amendment embodies the principle of restoration. We urge the passage of HB130 / HJ9 out of subcommittee to the full committee and onto the House floor. Ultimately, we should let the people decide on their November ballot.

Last Name: Clegg Locality: York County

I urge a NO vote on this bill, for the reasons stated at these links: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/pdf/LM145.pdf (especially pages 7-11) and https://www.heritage.org/election-integrity/commentary/there-are-good-reasons-felons-lose-the-right-vote

Last Name: Jacobson Locality: Suffolk

HB 130 - Once felons have served their prison term they should have voting rights restored - no exceptions, no fines to repay.

Last Name: Blanks Locality: Arlington

Please vote NO to HB130. "Participation" in "crime" is a valid reason for someone not being allowed to vote, and is specifically mentioned as such in Section 2 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When people misbehave, they can either have their privileges taken away, or be confined. When your kid misbehaves, you can send him to his room (confine him), or take away some of his privileges. Similarly, when a grown-up misbehaves, you can confine him by putting him in prison (which costs taxpayers a whole lot), or take away his privileges, like the right to vote (which costs taxpayers nothing), or both. Keeping felons from voting isn't anymore unfair than keeping teenagers from voting. Actually, it's less unfair. Most high-school freshman have better judgment and more intelligence than the average criminal. Yet high-school students can't vote (most of them can't, those under age 18). Even though most of them are good kids who will soon be working and improving our society.

Last Name: Gastanags Organization: Legis Reform for the Intellectually & Developmentally Disabled Locality: Richmond City

LRIDD supports this bill and the accompanying HJ9. Here's why: 1) The legislature should give voters the opportunity to vote in fall 2022 to amend our constitution to guarantee the right to vote for all citizens 18 and over. 2) Government should not be able to take away your right to vote permanently as a punishment or without a specific finding that you lack the capacity to understand voting. VA is one of 2 states that do this. 3) HJ9 and HB130 would, if approved by the voters, give all Virginia citizens a constitutionally guaranteed right to vote except when they are in jail or prison on a felony conviction or if a judge has found they cannot understand voting. 4) The new constitutional language would replace Jim Crow and eugenics Era language that has resulted in disproportionate numbers of Black Virginians being disenfranchised and unfairly disqualifies from voting people whose disabilities do not render them incapable of understanding the act of voting. It is time to give voters a say and the opportunity to vote to constitutionally guarantee their right to vote and restore the vote to everyone not incarcerated or specifically found to lack the capacity to vote.

Last Name: Casey Locality: Henrico

Voting is the cornerstone of democracy, and yet Virginia has not always wanted or made it easy for everyone to vote. The 1902 constitution included poll taxes, literacy requirements and constitutional understanding tests designed to keep Black people from the ballot box. It worked to dramatically reduce both Black and many poor White voters. Remnants of this terrible history remain. Virginia's constitution takes away the right to vote forever from people who have committed a felony but have served their time and who have returned to their communities. As a person of faith and goodwill, I believe in restoration. As a person of faith in a democracy, I believe that people who have served their sentences deserve a chance to choose the people who represent them. Restoration to the community requires restoration of voting rights in a democracy. A constitutional amendment is necessary to guarantee the right to vote for all Virginians 18 and over who are not serving time for a felony conviction. Our democracy is stronger and more representative of everyone's concerns when more people are allowed to participate in it.

Last Name: Naser Organization: Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Locality: Alexandria

I write in strong support this constitutional amendment. As people of faith and goodwill, we believe in restoration. As people of faith in a democracy, we believe that people who have served their sentences deserve a chance to choose the people who represent them. Restoration to the community requires restoration of voting rights in a democracy. Formerly incarcerated persons who have paid their debt to society cannot be full citizens if they are not permitted to vote. And full citizenship should be our goal for all citizens.

Last Name: Edelstein Organization: League of Woman Voters Locality: Henrico

I strongly support HB 130, voter referendum, to automatically restore voting rights when time has been served for a crime and individuals reenter society.

Last Name: Johnson-RAney Organization: League of Women Voters Locality: Richmond

I am a member of the League of Women Voters of the Greater Richmond Area and I strongly encourage you to pass HB 130. As someone who has worked to get people registered to vote, I have seen many instances where people convicted of a felony and who had as a result lost their right to vote, confused about what they had to do to get back their right to vote and very sad they could no longer exercise this fundamental right. I have also seen people previously convicted of a felony absolutely elated at the opportunity to vote once again. I believe this is a fundamental right all citizens in a democracy are entitled to and would be elated to see HB130 passed. Thank you for all you are doing to make this happen in Virginia.

Last Name: Morris Organization: League of Women Voters Locality: Roanoke

As a resident of Roanoke County (24018), a retired pastor, and a member of the League of Women Voters (Roanoke Valley), I urge the support of HB130 and HB416. This united measure has bipartisan support along with the support of 65% of Virginians. Automatically restoring the right to vote continues the work of rehabilitation which is the primary goal of our criminal justice system. Returning citizens who have this right restored and subsequently vote are less likely to re-offend and more likely to find the fullness of life and prosperity that we all wish for every citizen of the state of Virginia. Please continue the process begun in 2021 that will allow me the privilege of voting for this constitutional amendment in November. Thank you.

Last Name: Travis Organization: League of Women voters- Montgomery co Locality: Christiansburg

Dear House P & E Committee: Re: HB 130 -Returning citizens who have served their time in jail or prison should be able to vote. Voting is such an important and vital civic engagement and increases participation in community life. There is bipartisan support and over 65% of Virginia's support. Please let voters have a voice at the ballot box whether to pass this legislation. Deborah H Travis, League of Women Voters

Last Name: Johnson Organization: none Locality: Reston

Please vote in support of a referendum to give Virginians the opportunity to restore voting rights to persons who have completed their sentences and have returned to civil society. The ability to vote is a sign that the person has really been received back as a citizen. He or she may well be working and paying taxes; the return of the right to vote solidifies re-entrance. There is evidence that restoring the right to vote reduces recidivism. While it is true that the governor can restore the right to vote to individuals who apply, much depends on whether the sitting governor has this restoration as a priority that he or she addresses readily. The amendment would restore voting rights regardless of this variable. The referendum had bipartisan support in the last General Assembly session. It is time now to give the voters a chance to speak; 65 percent of them do approve of restoring the right to vote, according to a Beacon Research Group poll. Please address this issue as a priority. Yours sincerely, Sidney Johnson

Last Name: Boyer Locality: Fairfax County

Election Integrity guarantees our voice is heard and the we can trust the system. It is foundational to the backbone of this country. It has been my astonishing revelation that this most SACRED of all abilities - believed to be held UP- in such esteem and REVERENCE yet in reality is trampled upon, disrespected and disgraced , given away with no value whatsoever in order to game the system. It is totally and completely unprotected. IT is UNTRUE. This reminds me of the snake oil salesmen who came into towns in the early days selling fakery and un-truths. As the American people come learn the truth - it IS happening now folks, make no mistake, they will ask the leadership to answer for this'd hold you accountable for this bait and switch. WE need real election integrity for LEGAL CITIZENS ONLY. WE NEED PRISTINELY CLEAN VOTER ROLLS. Here is the list of what we must do to repair and restore the trust of the American People. Establish laws enabling forensic audits and voter canvass Repeal same day voter registration Repeal no voter identification Repeal the permanent absentee ballot list Repeal no-excuse AB Repeal 3rd party mailing of AB Repeal ballot harvesting Eliminate AB drop boxes. We also want 1 day of voting, but anything less than 45 days would be better than nothing. Do not accept AB after Election DAY. Repeal pre-registration of 16 year olds Repeal automatic voter registration by DMV Please vote appropriately on ALL bills in support of these goals. Angela Boyer Great Falls Va 22066

Last Name: Dorothy Waddell Locality: Suffolk

As an educator, mother, voter, active member of my community, and resident of the city of Suffolk in this great Commonwealth, I strongly support HB416 and HB130. It is paramount that exfelons are able to rejoin society as active and engaged members. This includes regaining their right to vote immediately upon release without a potential "poll tax." This premise is supported by the majority of Virginia's from both sides of the aisle. Give the citizens of Virginia a chance to vote on this issue at the ballot box.

Last Name: Moxon Locality: Williamsburg

HB 130 is needed. Restore voting rights to citizens who have paid for their felonies by time in prison.

Last Name: testa Organization: Retired Locality: Richmond

Please support HB 130 for a constitutional amendment that guarantees the sacred right to vote for all Virginia citizens who meet the constitutional requirements. Please eliminate all barriers to voting in our state. Thank you.

Last Name: Hepler Organization: Legal Aid Justice Center Locality: Albemarle

The Legal Aid Justice Center supports HB130. The right to vote is a fundamental right and is the very foundation of how our government and society operate. Without this right, a person has no meaningful opportunity to petition their government and no meaningful input into what laws will govern their day to day lives. The consequences of the criminal legal system fall disproportionately on traditionally marginalized people and having loss of voting rights tied to a felony conviction means the consequences of the loss of voting rights falls hardest on marginalized communities. The government, then, is missing the input of many communities throughout Virginia, communities that already struggle to be involved in government. Through my work in these communities, I have heard many genuinely mourn the loss of their right to vote and rejoice when that right was restored. Voting provides simple access to government decision making, and it should not be denied to a person who is no longer incarcerated. We ask that you all report this bill.

Last Name: Hoopengardner Organization: LWV Locality: Christiansburg

I support both HB130 and HB416. Voting is an important part of being an American, and those that have served their time should be given back the right to vote. We should not continue to punish those who have been convicted of a felony by stripping away their rights. Since voting is so fundamental to American society, let the voters have a say at the ballot box.

Last Name: Stewart Organization: SOCIAL ACTION LINKING TOGETHER (SALT) Locality: Chantilly

As a voter, taxpayer, a social justice advocate for SALT, and a member of a faith community, I firmly support the restoration of voting rights for those that have been released from prison. Punishment of the incarcerated should end once they have served their time. All rights should then be restored. I fully support the following statement posted on the ACLU web site: "Access to the ballot box is the cornerstone of our democracy. Yet Virginia is one of two states that permanently takes away the right to vote from people with felony convictions, including those who have served their time. These returning citizens pay taxes, are contributing members of society, and could be your neighbor. They have completed their sentence, been held accountable for their crime, and been deemed not to be a threat to public safety, yet have a lifetime ban on voting. That’s double jeopardy – punishing people for crimes for which they’ve already paid their debt. Taking away the right to vote should never be used as a punishment for crime." This decision to restore voting rights should not be left solely in the hands of whoever is the governor of Virginia.

Last Name: Mayhew Locality: Fairfax

Voting should be a universal right, once a person has met the basic qualifications. I strongly support HB130, the Constitutional amendment that will allow formerly incarcerated felons to vote as soon as they have served their sentences. These individuals should be allowed to vote even if they have unpaid penalties, fines, or restitution orders. Virginia has kept this law on the books far too long, in the face of its proven discriminatory impact on minority voters. Support for this bill is strong and bipartisan. Please support the bill as written and reject any attempts to amend it.

Last Name: Page Locality: Gainesville, VA

I feel strongly that we need to spell out what we believe, that everyone who qualifies must have the right to vote. That includes returning citizens. It means this right cannot be abridged. It ensures we have civic engagement for our communities. This is a bipartisan issue that the large majority of Virginians supports

Last Name: Evers Organization: LWV Locality: Williamsburg

Virginia is now one of 3 states that permanently disenfranchise every person with a felony conviction leaving it to the Governor via a complicated process to decide whose rights will be restored. After someone serves their time including probation and parole, it's only just to fully restore their civil rights. This antiquated constitutional law disproportionately impacts African Americans who make up 50% of Virginia's disenfranchised population. It's time to pass HB130 so voters can vote on whether to pass this legislation.

Last Name: McClenon Locality: Lynchburg

Please support the constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to the formally incarcerated. To be a strong community, we must have people who believe that they are a part of it, that what they do matters and that government is responsive to them. I have heard people who lost the right to vote say that it made them feel like a nobody, that they did not count, that it did not matter what they did. Instead we need people to feel a part of the whole, like they have a stake in a functioning society. Finally I have seen kids look wide-eyed as adults, who could not vote, discounted voting, said it did not matter. Not healthy for our society.

Last Name: McGlone Organization: League of Women Voters South Hampton Rd Locality: Norfolk

I support the bill, HB 130 and allowing citizens who have served their time, should be able to vote. Voting is an important civic engagement and increases participation in community life There is bipartisan support 65% of Virginians support Lets voters have a say at the ballot box whether to pass this legislation.

Last Name: Zaki Organization: League of Women Voters Locality: Yorktown

I support HB 130 , a Constitutional amendment on the right to vote. Voting is a fundamental right and ensures a vibrant democracy. Not being able to vote is a form of dispossession of one’s voice. This bill has bipartisan support and over 50% of Virginians support it.

Last Name: Fege Locality: Fairfax

I am writing in support of HB130. People who have paid their debt to society should be able to regain their right to register and vote. Voting is an important part of civic engagement and allows people to fully participate in the life of their community. Virginia voters should have the opportunity to voice their opinion about making this part of our Virginia Constitution.

Last Name: Tripp Organization: League of Women Voters Locality: James City

I support HB130, the Right To Vote. This House Bill provides that every person who meets the qualifications set forth in the Constitution shall have the fundamental right to vote in the Commonwealth and that such right shall not be abridged by law. Voting is indeed a right and not a privilege. Everyone should be encouraged to Register and Vote. In fact, Registration should be automatic for those who are eligible. People should be encouraged to vote in every election, primary, general and special. No Barriers, obvious or subtle, should be put in place. Vote by mail should be accessible by all. It’s safer (paper ballot), secure, and economical. States and localities would not have to pay poll workers or rent spaces to serve as polling locations. Several states have had it in place for years and have no issues. Let VA continue to lead the way for the Right to Vote and may the Commonwealth not be dragged backward.

Last Name: Brown Locality: Alexandria

I strongly support HB130, which would give Virginians a say in whether returning citizens who have served their time should be able to vote. There is bipartisan support for this amendment and it is supported by 65% of Virginians. Let voters have a say at the ballot box!

Last Name: Crutchfield Locality: Richmond 23221

I support HB130. Returning citizens who have served their time should be allowed to vote. Voting is an important civic engagement and will increase a returning citizen's engagement and participation in the community. 65% of Virginians support voting rights for returning citizens. Virginia voters should be given the chance to have a say by voting on this.

Last Name: Cannon Locality: Stafford

I am writing in support of having HB130 on the ballot as a constitutional amendment on Nov. 8, 2022. I believe in the fundamental rights of all citizens to vote. I particularly believe that felons should be able to vote once they have finished their incarceration. There is no good reason to do otherwise. I am also in favor of new language changing the current prohibition against those who are "mentally incompetent". This term does not really have any meaning at all. I have friends with disabilities who certainly have the intelligence and interest in how government runs. I think the new wording is much better to describe someone who should not vote. - "someone who lacks the capacity to understand the act of voting."

Last Name: Diliberti Locality: Fairfax County

Voting rights are essential for civic participation and for a functional democracy in Virginia. Voting also increases participation in community life. The proposals in this legislation have bipartisan support from 65% of Virginians. Let the voters have their say at the ballot box whether to approve this constitutional amendment and restore voting rights to returning citizens who have served their time and should be able to vote in their communities.

Last Name: van Breda Locality: Fairfax County

I strongly support HB 130. The citizens of Virginia should be able to vote on a constitutional amendment to allow returning citizens to vote. The history of felon disenfranchisement in Virginia is a shameful part of our past. Those who have paid their debt to society should be automatically restored the right to vote.

Last Name: Scheffler Locality: Arlington

Voting is a constitutional right and a civic duty. Inclusion in the voting rolls should reflect the full constituency of Commonwealth legal residents. Only then will decisions made by the legislature be fully reflective of those whom you represent. It is the Commonwealth's voters responsibility to vote, and it is your responsibility to ensure they can vote legally and with the greatest opportunity to participate.

Last Name: Kent Organization: LWV Locality: Williamsburg

Former felons deserve the right to vote when they rejoin society. It's critically important to pass this proposed amendment language exactly as it passed last year in order to get the issue before the people of Commonwealth, most of whom support its passage. Thank you! Phoebe Kent Williamsburg

Last Name: Bing Organization: League of Women Voters, SHR Locality: Norfolk

Please vote for HB 130. Like 65% of Virginians, I believe that every qualified citizen should have the right to vote.

Last Name: Heslep Locality: Montgomery County

The constitutional right to vote should not be taken away from someone for the rest of their life just because they have committed a crime. When we strip people of their rights and liberties indefinitely, even though they have served their time, we are stripping them of their humanity and of their voice. We cannot pick and choose who is allowed to vote. It is a right for all citizens of our nation. Remember, we are one mistake away from being in that same situation. Would you want to be dehumanized and silenced for life? Rights belong to ALL people!

Last Name: Kimberlin Locality: Fredericksburg

Voting should be simple, quick, and accesible to everyone. We have a lot of elderly and/or disabled residents, people who don't have access to a car, or members of the military serving overseas. Our legislators in Richmond should be working to make every Virginia's voice is heard. In addition, returning citizens should be eligible to vote once their sentence is completed. If they've served their time in prison as determined by a judge and/or jury, no purpose is served by denying them the right to vote.

Last Name: Cole Locality: Williamsburg

We have a government by the people. Government works for the people. All adults have an inalienable right to have representation by the people who govern them. Restrictions of voting rights are abominable to human rights.

Last Name: Stephens Locality: Richmond

I urge that HB 130 be passed as is so that it can be put the voters of the Commonwealth of VA to decide and so that it can be a more permanent "fix" to the disenfranchisement of a whole class of citizens of our Commonwealth than merely passing a bill that can be changed with the next political change over. Folks who have done their time should not be kept from voting. Requiring that their fines or other financial encumbrances be met first is essentially a poll tax.

Last Name: Bowman Locality: Alexandria

Hello. I am a voter in Alexandria, zip code 22314. I support this legislation and believe that incarcerated persons who have served their time should be allowed to vote when they are released. Voting is the most fundamental right we have and those who can vote are more invested in their communities. Thank you for your time

Last Name: Stephen Spitz Locality: Falls Church, Fairfax County

I strongly support HB 130, 416, and 795 - the constitutional amendment automatically to restore the right to vote upon release from prison. This amendment, which passed in identical form last year, would finally reverse the last of the racially discriminatory Jim Crow laws in Virginia- the provision in the 1902 Virginia constitution that provides for lifetime disenfranchisement upon conviction of a felony unless restored by the Governor. In support of the 1902 provision, Carter Glass stated that this would prevent “the darkies” from voting. Indeed, in just one year after the provision became effective, the number of black registered voters dropped precipitously. Virginia must not continue to be one of the very few states that denies the right to vote for life to anyone. Nor should any Governor be given plenary power to determine who can and cannot vote. Governors of both parties have exercised this power arbitrarily and capriciously. One Democratic Governor denied an application for restoration because the applicant had “moving violations.” One Republican Governor demanded applicants to describe their “church activities” in considering whether to restore the right to vote. Studies show that people who are denied the right to vote are more likely to reoffend. Once people are released into the community after completing a period of incarceration, they should be able to exercise the most precious right we have in a democracy - the right to vote.

Last Name: Anderson Locality: Fairfax, VA

We are basically the last state that does not restore the voting rights of felons. We should be ashamed of ourselves if we can't pass this and restore the sacred right of voting to people who have served their time. For gods sake, even FL managed to added this to their constitution. Surely The Commonwealth is superior to the State of Florida.

Last Name: More Locality: Vienna

I urge the Committee to approve the constitutional amendment and related bills on the restoration of voting rights for persons convicted of a felony who have completed their sentences, HJ28 and HB416 (Del. Herring), HJ9 and HB130 (Del. Cherry), and HJ72, HB795, and HB796 (Del. Price). As Delegate Cherry said in a recent article, "My faith teaches me that people make mistakes, and they can be redeemed from those mistakes and become, in this case, contributing members to society again. I don’t think we should impose lifetime restrictions and punishments on people when the courts did not deem it necessary to give them a life sentence." My own faith teaches me the same lessons. The restoration of voting rights should be automatic upon a person's release from incarceration and should not be left up to the inclinations of whoever the governor may be at the time. Such restoration tells the person that he or she has been accepted back into society and is expected to fulfill his or her civic responsibilities while enjoying the rights of citizenship. Thank you for considering my views.

Last Name: Marie Locality: ARLINGTON

Virginia enacted several new voting laws in 2020 and 2021 to make voting more accessible during the pandemic. Early in-person voting hours were increased, mail-in absentee ballots no longer required a witness signature, more drop-box locations were available. These changes led to record voter turnout (with insignificant fraud) in both the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 gubernatorial election. Therefore I oppose any new bill that would restrict our rights to accessible voting.

Last Name: Crosson Locality: Charlottesville, Virginia

I am a returning citizen. After nearly 19 years in prison I was granted a conditional pardon by Governor Ralph Northam, who also restored my civil rights. Being released into a world that accepts me in my totality, that believes in second chances and that treats me like an equal citizen has allowed me to start a small business, begin a successful social media campaign, operate fundraisers and give back to the community in many other ways. I was only released in August of 2021, yet have been able to accomplish so much because I have been accepted and embraced. We want people getting out of prison to succeed. Accepting them as full and participating members of society is a huge step on that process. To stigmatize or disenfranchise them is to increase the likelihood of recidivism and the creation of future victims. The passage of this bill will keep Virginia safer.

Last Name: Martin Locality: Fairfax

Voting is a constitutional right. Any law that restricts rather than expands our constitutional right & DUTY to vote is simply voter suppression. We must not repeal any expansions of absentee ballots. Do not decrease early voting. - extend the number of days allowed. Do not eliminate any ballot box locations- expand. We have no need to re-register absentee ballots every year. No excuse absentee voting is absolutely crucial. The state must provide easy and free access to voter ID if a photo is required. Since the USPS has slowed considerably, we must keep the 3 day rule for receiving ballots after election day. All local elections must be on Election Day (in Nov). Election Day should be a holiday. Until we do a complete overhaul of campaign finance & eliminate dark money/special interests there must be no restrictions on outreach, education & registration or from where a candidate may collect funds. Voter registration up to and including Election Day is absolutely crucial to ensure all citizens vote. I support all bills expanding our rights and abilities to make voting as easy as possible. I oppose all bills attempting to restrict any access to our ballot and our vote. The process is too important for the elected officials to be able to restrict us from our duty to be informed voters. Keep expanding our rights. Do not restrict, suppress or subvert them.

Last Name: Karabinos Locality: Chesterfield

Voting should be easy and available That means that voters should have every option available to them, including No-excuse absentee voting, mail in voting, in person early voting and in person election day voting at enough locations to prevent long lines. The photo ID requirement is based on a false narrative around a kind of fraud that does not happen so a photo ID should not be required. Mobile device voting should be available. I can bank and pay my taxes from my computer or phone, I should be able to vote that way as well

End of Comments