Voting Rights


The ACLU of Virginia protects the right to register and vote, and promotes racial equality in the electoral process.





Voting Rights Restoration Information

On April 22, 2016, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order that restored the civil rights of all Virginians with a prior felony conviction who have completed the terms of incarceration and have been released from supervised probation or parole.  Unfortunately on July 22, 2016, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the Governor could not restore the voting rights of those formerly convicted with one executive order.  The Governor has decided to individually restore the voting rights of the 206,000 disenfranchised Virginians.  Click here for more on How To Restore Your Rights.

2016 Voters’ Rights Information

The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015

Check out this video featuring ACLU of Virginia Board member Dr. Howard Gholson as he and others reflect on the state of voting rights in Virginia during the 1960s.

News & Commentary

A Loving Farewell to our Dedicated, Longest-Serving Board Member Stew Dunn

EXCERPT: Stew understood the core essence of the ACLU’s principles like very few people – that an open and compassionate mind combined with a strong sense of the value of individual rights and opinion will yield the best result in most situations. read more »

ACLU-VA Comment on Va. Supreme Court Rejection of Attempt to Hold Gov. McAuliffe in Contempt for Restoration of Rights

QUICK QUOTE: "We hope the Supreme Court of Virginia’s prompt rejection of the most recent effort to erect barriers to voting will put an end to such activities for this year." read more »

Exciting Times Nationally for Voting Rights but Va. has a Long Way to Go

BLOG: We hope that the Court’s ruling will discourage Virginia’s General Assembly from enacting further limitations on the exercise of the franchise in Virginia, and encourage the legislature instead to consider passing laws that would open up access to the ballot box for all Virginians. read more »

ACLU-VA Statement Regarding Va. Supreme Court Decision on Voting Rights Restoration

STATEMENT: The court’s decision is disappointing but we remain committed to the principled goal of restoring voting and other rights to ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society. read more »

Read more press releases »

In the Courts

Howell v. McAuliffe (amicus)

Restoration of Rights read more »

Libertarian Party of Virginia v. Judd

State Residency Requirement for Petition Circulators read more »

Perry v. Judd (amicus)

Ballot Access for Presidential Primary Candidates read more »

Gillette v. Weimer

Right to Vote Without ID read more »

Read more court cases »