Robert McDonnell, Governor of Virginia, says he will require felons to draft essays in order to have their voting rights restored. Under the state’s constitution, individuals with felony convictions automatically lose their right to vote. Under the new plan, the felons will have to write about their contributions to society since their release. Critics of the policy say it discriminates against lower-income or less-educated individuals from getting the rights restored; they may be less able to draft "passing" essays.
According to Janet Polarek, secretary of the commonwealth, "It gives all applicants the opportunity to have their cases heard and have their full stories told . . .[i]t’s an opportunity, not an obstacle."
McDonnell in hot water over nonviolent felons’ rights | The Washington Post