Gov. Glenn Youngkin needs to reveal the criteria he uses to restore voting rights – The Virginian-Pilot | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Right to vote

Re “Virginia Democrats call for Justice Department investigation into ‘purged’ voter rolls” (Sept. 20): I love my country, and if you feel that something you love is being threatened, you protect it. We live in a democracy — not a Democratic, Republican or Libertarian country — but a democracy.

We have rights as citizens to vote for our representation. The article disturbs me because it states there are “reports that Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration has removed thousands of eligible voters from the state’s rolls.” This would be circumventing this democratic right to vote.

I understand every governor asserts his or her beliefs and tweaks procedures. That it is legal. However, what concerns me is that he has been “quietly implementing a new policy of evaluating applicants (felony convictions) on an individual basis using unspecified criteria.” This was reported months ago, and he has still not revealed what his criteria is.

We are a democracy, not an autocracy, and he is accountable to his Virginia citizens. He is allowed to legally slow down the process by individually reviewing them. But he should be transparent with the criteria he uses. Where is his accountability? People who serve their time and meet that criteria should be allowed to vote and have a voice in their Virginia. But again, what is his criteria? We are headed for an important election in November and another one in 2024. Will we all have our right to vote still intact?

Toby Pennell, Portsmouth

No parole

Re “Parole, a political minefield in Virginia, deserves thorough study” (Our Views, Oct. 10): Parole should never be granted for a convicted murderer, rapist or child predator. The price to keep these disgusting humans was reported as about $42,000 per year. The state government and the national government waste more than 20 times that a week.

There are people entering our country illegally daily and getting better care than some Americans. Migrants stay in fancy hotels in New York City and are put in hotels in Massachusetts where military-related people were booked to stay for the upcoming Army-Navy game.

So $42,000 is not much to keep these disgusting people in prison. That’s not wasting any money. And the most important reason, these nonhumans have destroyed many lives and families. One of which is my own family.

Carl Griffey was charged and convicted of murdering Harry Shouse, my brother, in 1994. Griffey was sentenced to decades in prison but after about 10 years he has gone up for parole every single year, and I write to the parole board every single year.

After my brother’s death my mother had breast cancer but refused to help herself. All she wanted was to be with her only son. She died July 17, 2004, almost exactly 10 years after my brother. Now there are my two younger sisters and myself left, along with four great-nieces and four great-nephews who my brother never got to meet.

Griffey can rot in prison. I will fight every year to make sure he remains in there.

Georgiann Allen, Virginia Beach

What’s at stake

Former Gov. Ralph Northam and a Democratic General Assembly passed mainstream laws that are popular with many Virginia voters:

  • Made it easier to vote, with early voting in-person or by mail
  • Raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $12.00 per hour
  • Increased funding for public education
  • Provided free community college for low-to-middle-income students
  • The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which has successfully reduced carbon pollution and has already generated $730 million dollars for energy efficiency and flood protection in Virginia
  • The Virginia Clean Economy Act, which set a goal for two electric utilities to be carbon-free by 2050
  • Established standards for reducing vehicle emissions
  • Decriminalized possession of marijuana
  • Established background checks for gun sales and “red flag” temporary confiscation of guns from those identified as an immediate threat to themselves or others (Even most gun owners support these sensible measures.)
  • Abolished the death penalty
  • The Virginia Values Act allowed more discrimination claims in state court, banned discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and repealed the previous state prohibition of same-sex marriage
  • Repealed the previous state mandate for medically unnecessary ultrasounds and 24-hour waiting periods before obtaining abortions

If Republicans win majorities in both houses of the General Assembly, all those gains may be reversed.

Also, Gov. Glenn Youngkin believes life begins at conception and “any bill that comes to my desk I will sign happily and gleefully in order to protect life.”

Early voting in person or by mail has already started. Vote Democratic.

David Campbell, Virginia Beach

Israel and Gaza

Re “Aid supplies stuck at the Gaza border” (Oct. 17): The horrors in Israel and Gaza are heart-wrenching. We sit in our comfortable homes and are helpless. Where is God or Allah for both sides?

The photo with the article above of the little girl in Gaza, around my granddaughter’s age, with her Hello Kitty pajamas broke my heart. I pray for the end of this war with the safe release of the hostages and the termination of Hamas.

Debbie McNulty, Chesapeake

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