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Virginia shortens process for felons to seek restoration of voting and civil rights

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RICHMOND, Virginia — Virginia is taking additional steps to make it easier for convicted felons to regain their voting rights.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced policy changes Thursday that will shorten the application process for people convicted of more serious crimes. The changes include eliminating notarization, letters to the governor and other requirements. The application was reduced from 13 pages to one.

In April, McAuliffe reduced the waiting period for violent felons to apply for restoration of rights from five years to three. He also removed drug offenses from a list of violent crimes that are subject to the waiting period.

McAuliffe says more than 5,100 ex-offenders have regained voting rights this year.

The Virginia Department of Elections says 71 percent of Virginians who regained their voting rights this year have registered to vote.

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