Most importantly, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will begin automatically restoring voting rights for “nonviolent felons” beginning July 15. Those convicted of violent crimes must still undergo an application process, following a five-year waiting period. “Non-violent” is a problematic definition in practice, but I expect this to be a meaningful change for Virginia. In particular, a switch to an “automatic” or default system tends to be far more effective in restoring civil rights than, say, “streamlined application processes.”
Also, Marc Mauer and I wrote a new Huffington Post op-ed on race, voter turnout, and felon disenfranchisement.