Published by Danville Register & Bee.
Dozens of ex-offenders have applied to register to vote in Danville since a recent rights restoration event attended by Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson, according to data from the Danville Voter Registrar’s office.
Since April, 150 ex-offenders have applied to register to vote in Danville. The number is up sharply from the end of May, when only 61 ex-offenders had registered.
Deputy Registrar Tammy Warren also said the process of transferring voter information from two databases was also progressing smoothly, with no major issues. Earlier this spring, Danville Registrar Peggy Petty expressed concerns over the unprecedented task of transferring and verifying the identities of applicants.
In an April executive action, Gov. Terry McAuliffe granted rights restoration to more than 200,000 ex-offenders. The leadership of the state Republican Party widely criticized the move as unconstitutional and rushed, citing instances of felons still in prison appearing on the lists of those with rights restored.
Earlier this week, McAuliffe also made it easier for voters to apply to register with a new electronic registration process at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Voters will soon be able to register to vote electronically at the DMV’s 74 customer service centers and five mobile offices across Virginia.
“ This new innovation is a great example of government using technology to serve taxpayers better and make it easier to participate in our elections,” McAuliffe said at the announcement. “By streamlining the voter application process at the DMV we will help Virginians to get in and out of customer service centers faster and give DMV employees more time to focus on customers, rather than processing stacks of paper applications.”
The process will reduce the amount of time the DMV spends processing paper applications as well as making the process quicker for prospective voters.
“ We consider this new electronic application process to be a win-win for everyone involved,” Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Ric Holcomb said in a news release.
The process will also be easier for registrars, Virginia Commissioner of Elections Edgardo Cortés said.
“ These upcoming changes will not only make the registration process more flexible, efficient and portable, but it will reduce the administrative burden for registrars,” Cortés said.
Metcalfe reports for the Danville Register & Bee.