The Gov. Bob McDonnell Clown Show continues:
On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that McDonnell was instituting steeper re-enfranchisement requirements for formerly incarcerated people seeking to get back their voting rights. The new restrictions, which would have added a requirement that applicants submit an essay detailing their “contributions to society” since their release, would amount to a de facto literacy test for some of the least educated people in the state, as Chris Cassidy points out.
Disappointing, but entirely unsurprising. And now he’s backing off, in a way that – well, let’s just say I’m having a hard time believing anything coming out of the Governor’s office:
After taking heat from local black legislators and civil rights leaders, McDonnell now appears to be backing off, saying that the whole thing was merely a “draft proposal,” which doesn’t explain why 200 people were sent letters saying they had to write an essay to the governor to get their voting rights back, or why one of his spokespersons defended the new process at the time as “an opportunity, not an obstacle.”
Oh, riiiight. A draft proposal. Maybe he was just trying to enlist the editorial talents of the 200 folks that got the letters? Public outreach, right?