Allowing felons to vote could help Obama
October 4, 2008 Virginia's Case-by-Case Voting Law Allowing Felons to Vote could Aid Obama Camapaign, Raises Questions if Felons should be given the right to vote.
The Associated Press Reported that the Obama Campaign is using a Virginia law that would allow felons to vote on a case-by-case basis and pushes further for changes in Federal and State elections laws allowing felons the right to vote, but it requires approval of the Governor. Virginia, in all other cases, permantely bars felons from voting.
Obama has co-sponsored a Senate measure that would allow all ex-felons to vote, but his campaign isn't directly targeting ex-felons for registration. His campaign does include relevant info on its Web site and educates volunteers so they can explain state laws to those who may not realize they have the right to vote, said spokesman Kevin Griffis.
"All we're trying to do is make sure that, if someone is eligible, that they know their rights and that if they want to vote, they can take part," Griffis said Tuesday. "I think there's a lot of misinformation out there. Even people who may have been guilty of a misdemeanor feel like the felony laws apply to them and say they can't vote."
McCain has said states should decide whether felons have voting rights. But he personally believes ex-felons should forfeit certain rights when they commit a serious crime and that the right to vote should be restored only on a case-by-case basis — much like Virginia's process.