Virginia amendment would allow inmates to vote, potentially roiling politics in counties with prisons

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Democratic lawmakers in Virginia, who recently won control of the state’s legislature, proposed altering the state’s constitution to allow prisoners and mentally handicapped individuals to vote.

The national debate previously focused on whether felons should be able to vote after they serve their time.

Only two other states allow inmates to vote. But unlike in Maine and Vermont, the language of the Virginia proposal suggests inmates could vote as residents of the jurisdiction where the prison is.

Virginia’s largest state prisons are in sparsely populated areas where the inmate population could exert significant influence on local government.

A former Republican member of the Virginia Board of Elections, Clara Belle Wheeler, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that could lead to the inmates running the asylum.

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