Protecting the Right to Vote, Walpole v. Showalter.
James O. Walpole, Jr. is a homeless man residing in the City of Richmond. He was convicted of two felonies more than 30 years ago.. In September 2016, he received an individualized letter from Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson restoring his civil rights. Mr. Walpole went to extraordinary lengths to attempt to register to vote, seeking guidance on multiple occasions from the Richmond Office of the Registrar, the Va. Department of Elections and the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. The Richmond Registrar’s office denied his request because he was instructed to list his residence as “homeless” instead of providing a residence address, and failed to notify Mr. Walpole of its decision promptly, denying him the ability to update his information before the voter registration deadline.
The ACLU of Virginia filed an appeal of the denial in Richmond Circuit Court on Nov. 4, 2016. Judge C.N. Jenkins denied the ACLU of Virginia’s appeal that he order the Registrar to accept Mr. Walpole’s registration and place him on the rolls to participate in the Nov. 8 election.
The ACLU of Virginia appealed the circuit court’s ruling to the Supreme Court of Virginia on Nov. 7, 2016. The court denied the appeal on Nov. 7, 2016.