Tell Lawmakers to Guarantee the Right to Vote

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The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, yet it's not guaranteed. It can be taken away – for life – if you're convicted of a felony. This law was enacted in 1902 with the explicit intent of blocking Black people from the polls, just like poll taxes and literacy tests.

Lawmakers must amend the Virginia Constitution to guarantee the right to vote by passing Senate Joint Resolution 272 as it was introduced in the Senate.

Message Recipients:
Your State Senator
Your State Representatives

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Your Message
Vote YES on SJR 272

Denying the right to vote based on a felony conviction is racist in its origin, intent, and execution. At the 1902 Constitutional Convention when felony disenfranchisement was adopted, lawmakers talked openly about using this law to “eliminate the ignorant and worthless negro as a factor from politics of this State without taking the right of suffrage from a single white man.” It has done its intended job of blocking generations of Black people from the vote. Automatic restoration of voting rights, as proposed in HJ 555, will leave this racist provision in place. SJR 272 – as it was introduced in the Senate – will remove it and ensure that every Virginia citizen over the age of 18 can vote.

As your constituent, I urge you to vote "yes" to SJR 272 and push for a clean bill without any changes to the original text. I am one of the 66% of Virginians who want this amendment to pass. Automatic restoration will not fully address the injustice of felony disenfranchisement, and I encourage you to be bold by voting in favor of SJR 272 as it was introduced.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]
[Your Address]

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