05/29/2013 01:54 am ET Updated May 29, 2013

Ken Cuccinelli Evolving On Felons' Voting Rights Issue

Once a staunch opponent of voting rights for felons, Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli (R) appears to be a changed man.

Burke (Va.) Patch revealed Tuesday that a report delivered by a Cuccinelli-commissioned committee suggests a new approach for nonviolent felons to see "restoration" of their rights. Among the items included was the option for governors to exercise "clemency power in a more expansive manner ... on an individual basis."

As detailed on the state's official website, Virginia stands as one of a handful of U.S. states that fails to automatically restore felons' voting rights. The path to change remains bumpy, as Richmond Sunlight lists several 2013 state bills falling on this topic.

On Monday, the Washington Post detailed how Cuccinelli's Virginia state Senate tenure (2002-10) was marked by opposition to felons receiving automatic restoration of voting rights. Fast forwarding to 2013, Cuccinelli told the paper this week that his awareness of the frustrations associated with the process proved to be life-altering.

“I’ve had people who wanted to get rights restored . . . you go through the processes and . . . it can be very, very frustrating,” Cuccinelli said. “That experience did play a role. It’s a real human side of it for me.”



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