The Latest: House speaker blasts Virginia governor's action

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Terry McAuliffe's decision to make all former felons in Virginia eligible to vote (all times local):

1:00 p.m.

Virginia's Republican House Speaker is accusing Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of trying to help Democrats win the presidential race in November by restoring the voting rights of felons.

House Speaker William Howell's statement says McAuliffe is clearly changing the rules to "ensure Hillary Clinton's victory."

Howell says it's "hard to describe how transparent the governor's motives are."

McAuliffe's announced Friday that he's restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons in Virginia. They also will be allowed to serve on juries and run for public office. The governor said he consulted with legal experts and is confident he can take this action, but Howell says there are significant legal and constitutional questions over whether the governor has such authority.

Howell says lawmakers are reviewing the policy to determine "what options are available to the General Assembly."


11:30 a.m.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons in the state.

The sweeping action announced by the Democratic governor Friday will allow former felons who have completed their sentences to register to vote in Virginia this year.

McAuliffe has made the restoration of rights of former convicts a priority of his administration.


4:15 a.m.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office says the governor plans to make a major announcement on his efforts at restoring certain civil rights of former felons.

The governor has scheduled an 11 a.m. news conference Friday at the Capitol to make the announcement.

McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said the governor had restored the rights of 18,000 Virginians, more than combined total of his seven predecessors, and Friday's announcement would mark another major milestone.

The Democratic governor has made restoring rights — including the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and the right to serve on a jury — a top priority.