Virginia Governor Restores Voting Rights To 60,000 Ex-Cons; 4.5x More Than Expected

Back in August we wrote about the efforts of Virginia's Governor, and long-time Clinton confidant, Terry McAuliffe, to restore the voting rights of 13,000 convicted felons in his state.  McAuliffe had originally attempted to sign an executive order granting blanket rights to all of Virginia's 200,000 ex-cons but was shut down by courts which found that he had to restore voting rights individually. 

We recently wrote about the efforts of Virginia's Governor, and long-time Clinton confidant, Terry McAuliffe, to restore voting rights to 200,000 ex-felons (see "FelonsVotesMatter (To Hillary) - Clinton's Election Fate In Virginia Lies With 200,000 Unregistered Offenders").  As we pointed out, 200,000 is over 5% of the 3.8mm people who voted in the Presidential race in 2012 and is larger than Obama's margin of victory over Mitt Romney of 149,298.  But we certainly don't mean to imply that McAuliffe's efforts are in any way motivated by a desire to help Clinton win the state of Virginia in November...we're sure this problem is just an issue that has tugged at McAuliffe's heart for a long time.  But we digress.

 

Back in July, Virginia's Supreme Court blocked McAuliffe's effort to restore voting rights to 200,000 ex-felons all at one time saying that he would instead have to restore each person's voting right individually.  Proving his determination and willingness to devote unlimited taxpayer funds to the effort, the Washington Post is reporting that McAuliffe will announce on Monday that he has restored efforts to the first 13,000 ex felons on a "case-by-case" basis.  He is expected to continue the effort until the voting rights for all 200,000 ex-felons have been restored. 

Now, according to an investigation by the Daily Caller, it turns out that McAulliffe was a much faster signer than originally expected and has returned voting rights to 60,000 ex-cons, or over 4.5x the original estimate.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has granted voting rights to as many as 60,000 convicted felons just in time for them to register to vote, nearly five times more than previously reported and enough to win the state for his long-time friend, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

 

Now, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned that McAuliffe — who managed Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign — churned out five times as many letters before the registration deadline than publicly claimed.

 

Virginia’s recent political history has seen multiple races that were decided by tiny margins. The 2014 U.S. Senate race, for example, was decided by only 17,000 votes, while the attorney general’s race came down to a mere 165 votes.

Of course, as we wrote earlier, McAuliffe also happens to be the same guy who gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.

The latest allegation of potential impropriety and conflict of interest involving the Democratic Party and the FBI, which over the summer famously cleared Hillary Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing as relates to her personal email server, comes not from a Podesta email or a Wikileaks disclosure, but the WSJ which overnight reported that the political organization of Virginia Govenor Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.

 

Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

Moreover, this news comes just as polls have been tightening all the country.  Per FiveThirtyEight, the top national polls conducted since the FBI re-opened its investigation into Hillary's emails shows a roughly 2-3 point advantage for Hillary, on average. That said, every poll in the US was just rendered utterly useless by FBI Director James Comey who announced that they've now concluded their renewed investigation of Hillary and will still not recommend charges. 

538

 

Meanwhile, the critical swing states, of which Virginia is a very important one, are also very close.

Clinton is tied in Florida and down 1 point in Ohio, according to YouGov.

 

A Columbus Dispatch poll — conducted entirely by mail! — has Clinton up by 1 point in Ohio instead.

 

Clinton trails in Iowa by 7 points, according to the Selzer & Co. poll for the Des Moines Register.

 

Clinton is up 4 in Pennsylvania, according to a Muhlenberg College poll.

 

And Clinton has only a 5-point lead in New Mexico, according to a poll for the Albuquerque Journal.

Which brings us to our final point...as pointed out by ValueWalk, the combination of a tight race and several very controversial developments surrounding both candidates throughout the campaigning cycle drastically raises the risk of an "electoral college revolt."

Electoral college revolt? Unprecedented Situation Raises Odds of Election Being Decided by Electors or House

 

Since at least one elector has already publicly announced that he will not vote for the candidate he is pledged to, the door is open wide for other rogue electors – sometimes called “faithless electors” – to likewise not only break their pledges, but perhaps for the first time in history to actually deny the election to the candidate with the most electoral votes.

 

Some very unusual circumstances make this somewhat more likely than in the past, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf, whose Electoral College studies are widely accepted.

 

In a close election, only a few electors who do not cast their electoral votes as they had pledged can change the outcome of the election, either by putting the candidate with a not quite enough electoral votes over the top, or perhaps even by throwing the presidential election into the House of Representatives.

With the race just being turned on its head once again by the FBI's latest revelation less than 48 hours before election day, there is no doubt that the 2016 election cycle will go down as one of the most bizarre races in history.