Roanoke man mistakenly has voting rights taken away

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Thousands of ex-offenders in Virginia are having their right to vote revoked.

This after the State Supreme Court ruled Governor Terry McAuliffe's restoration of rights order unconstitutional.

Now, one Roanoke man who had his rights restored last year, has had them taken away again.

It's a mistake Antwyne Calloway is afraid affects many more people than just himself.

Governor McAuliffe has pledged that he will go through and restore the rights of every one of the more than 13,000 people included under his blanket restoration, but Calloway isn't one of those 13,000.

He had his rights restored last year.

Nevertheless, he now finds himself having to fight for his right to vote again just months before the election.

The date is right on the letter.

"Got them actually restored on December 23rd of 2015," said Calloway.


Four months before McAuliffe's blanket restoration ever took effect.

Regardless, when Calloway checked his mail Wednesday, he had a letter from the Registrar.

"When I opened the letter and read the part where it said that my voting rights were cancelled because of the act that Governor McAuliffe had done for, in April, May, and in June, I was like well that doesn't have anything to do with me. I had mine restored in 2015," said Calloway.

Calloway says he got on the phone with the General Registrar, but the response was confusion.

"We'll find it out, we'll give you a call back and let you know. Now I have to sit back and wait on someone. Once again, placing my life and my opportunity to vote and my rights in somebody else's hands," said Calloway.

Roanoke Community Advocate Shawn Hunter, who has worked to help more than 300 hundred people get their right to vote restored, says Calloway isn't alone.

"Apparently it's a glitch somewhere, because they are going back and taking back individuals who had their rights restored one by one as they petitioned, their rights are now revoked also," said Hunter.

Calloway says, he doesn't think an innocent "glitch" is the problem.

"It does scream voter suppression... It is evidently clear, if they've taken away my voting rights, out of nowhere, how many other individuals got this same letter?" said Calloway.

Now, Calloway is worried he won't get his rights back in time to vote in the General Election this November.

"You have this window of time that if you're not registered, then you can't even vote in the next election," said Calloway.

The deadline to register to vote in Virginia is October 17th, now only two months away.

Calloway, who has never cast a vote before in his life, says he intends to do everything he can to get his rights restored by then.