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William & Mary working to restore voting rights to convicted felons

Law students at William & Mary are working to restore voting rights to convicted felons just months before the midterm election.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) — One organization at William & Mary is working to help eligible Virginians with past felony convictions regain the right to vote and right now is a critical time to apply for restoration.

Midterm elections are two months away.

Over the last several years, students and faculty at the college have helped hundreds of people get their voting rights back.

Rebecca Green is Professor of the Practice of Law at William & Mary and the co-founder of Revive My Vote, an organization that helps eligible Virginians with past felony convictions to regain the right to vote.

Green and a student started the organization in 2013.

“We find through our hotline people are confused and the Governor can't restore rights, or they have to first pay their fines and fees before they can apply to get their voting rights back and it's not true,” Green said.

According to the Department of Elections, there are more than five million registered voters in Virginia.

In a 2016 report by the Sentencing Project, Virginia joins the top 10 states with the highest percentage of disenfranchised voters.

According to a 2017 Washington Post article, then Governor Terry McAuliffe said he had restored rights to more than 156,000 Virginians.

“We've been lucky to do this and help people get back in their community,” Green said.

At William and Mary, there's a hotline you can call, and law students are standing by to help.

The voter registration deadline is October 15.

The voting rights restoration process can take two to four weeks, or longer.

Click here or call the hotline at 844-932-8683.

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