In Virginia 206,000 ex-felons who have served their time got their voting rights back, with the stroke of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s pen.
In 1999, then 18-year-old Raja Johnson was convicted of grand larceny and lost her right to vote. In 2014 Governor McAuliffe restored that right to her. “And it sort of did something on the inside…and it gave me that motivation to go on.”
Johnson says she then turned her life around, returning to school. “I’ll have an associates degree in June. I’ll be going back for a bachelor’s degree. So it’s sort of made me feel more like a citizen.”