- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Since Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons, more than 2,000 have registered, and advocacy groups hope they can swing the presidential election and state politics for the next decade.

The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/1YcElkK ) reports Virginia voters do not register a party affiliation so it will be difficult to know which party will benefit. Many observers expect ex-felons to identify more with the Democratic agenda of justice reform, higher wages and health care.

Republicans say McAullife’s decision is designed to help Hillary Clinton carry Virginia in November.

The co-executive director of the left-leaning New Virginia Majority dismisses that suggestion.

Tram Nguyen says it’s not political, calling it “a moral issue … It’s about giving a voice to a community that has felt voiceless.”

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