The General Assembly spiked a bill which would have added a provision to the Virginia Constitution allowing the General Assembly powers to return voting rights to felons instead of just the governor.
Y'know, I don't have a problem with non-violent felons getting their right to vote back after a period of time. I'd probably set the time period at 10 years after their last conviction. I'd say "when their probation ends" or 10 years whichever is longer, except for the fact that I've seen more than one judge say "indefinite" probation. I think even "indefinite" probation is limited at maximum to the amount of time suspended, but in Virginia you can have 20 years suspended for any larceny of $200 (and I've seen it done).
Violent felons (rapists, murderers, robbers) don't have my sympathy here. There are certain acts which should serve to permanently segregate someone from the community.
I see this battle being fought over and over and over again. I've come to realize it's more of a philosophical debate than anything else. After all, how many people who are out there committing felonies are voting or will ever vote? When I was doing defense work I handled hundreds of felonies and I can only remember one in which the client was seriously worried about losing his right to vote. I suspect there are some people out there who have kept there noses clean, burning to get their right to vote back, and can't get the governor to restore them. I just can't see it being a huge number.