At long last, my right to vote has been restored

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

by Frank Anderson

With trembling hands, I opened the letter that came in the mail today from the Secretary of the Commonwealth.  The moment I've been waiting for has arrived.  
The fight, of course, is not over and will not be over until every free citizen of Virginia has the right to vote.  In the meantime, now that I'm allowed to, I plan to become a notary public so I can help others complete the Application for Restoration of Rights.
I'm about to drive to the Fairfax County Board of Elections to register to vote, but first I'd like to thank some of the people who have been advocating on my behalf, and people who have been fighting for voting rights for all Virginians.  I don't have time to list everyone, so this list is by no means complete:

-Stephen Spitz, Andrea Miller, Ruth Fischer and all of PDA Virginia
-State Senator Chap Petersen, who wrote a letter to Tim Kaine urging him to reverse his decision denying my restoration of rights.
-Delegate Charniele Herring, who spoke out against McDonnell's proposed (and retracted) restrictions on the restoration process
-Michael Paul Williams of the Richmond Times Dispatch and other reporters who brought attention to Virginia's voting rights problems
-Patricia Hynes, who joined us in the streets and in the halls of Congress
-Blue Virginia and Not Larry Sabato for raising awareness about voting rights issues
-Editorial boards of the Washington Post and other newspapers who supported ending Virginia's unfair lifetime disenfranchisement laws
-Kent Willis, ACLU Virginia
-Adisa Muse, Virginia Legislative Black Caucus
-Krysta Jones, Virginia Leadership Institute
-Mike Signer, senior fellow at Progressive Policy Institute, Adjunct Professor at Virginia Tech
-Erika Wood, Brennan Center for Justice
Howard Highland, Esq., W&L Community Law Center at the Oliver Hill House
-Fairfax County Democratic Committee leaders and members who called Governor Kaine and who approved a resolution in support of the Democracy Restoration Act
- Lillie Branch-Kennedy, Executive Director, Resource  Information Help for the Disadvantaged/Disenfranchised
-All other coalition members of Virginia Restore Our Vote