RICHMOND (AP) -- A committee appointed by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli suggests designating a state agency to help the governor restore felons' voting rights.

Cuccinelli's seven-member Rights Restoration Advisory Committee issued its report Tuesday.

The Republican candidate for governor formed the panel in March to determine whether the procedure for restoring felons' rights can be revised without amending the Virginia Constitution. Legislative proposals to automatically restore nonviolent felons' rights have failed repeatedly, most recently in the 2013 legislature. Those efforts have focused on amending the constitution, which says felons cannot vote unless their civil rights have been restored by the governor 'or other appropriate authority.'

The committee says the legislature could designate an executive branch agency to do all the legwork and lead an outreach effort. The governor would retain the final say.

Members of the panel are:
Va. Beach Commonwealth's Attorney Harvey Bryant
Lisa Caruso, Dinwiddie County Commonwealth's Attorney
K. Anne Gambrill Gentry, Assistant attorney general, associate university counsel, George Mason University
Paul Goldman, former senior advisor to Governor L. Douglas Wilder
Henry E. 'Hank' Howell, III, the Eminent Domain Litigation Group, PLC
Donald E. Santarelli, president, Center for Community Corrections
Ashley L. Taylor, Jr., former deputy attorney general and former commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

AP-WF-05-28-13 0611GMT

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