Press Releases

As Elections Approach in Virginia, The Country Turns Its Attention to Governor Glenn Youngkin.

NOVEMBER 6, 2023

Sarah Harris, [email protected] 

On Tuesday, Virginia voters will determine control of their state legislature and the future of voting rights, abortion care, and more across the state. As Election Night nears, all eyes are on Glenn Youngkin. Even though Governor Youngkin isn’t up for reelection until 2025, this year’s elections will test his political leadership ahead of the 2024 elections. A victory on November 7 could position Youngkin as a viable alternative to Donald Trump. Unfortunately, when it comes to his record on voting rights and democracy, Youngkin has too often stood with MAGA extremists instead of our freedom to vote.

Here’s why:

Governor Youngkin reversed automatic voting rights restoration:

  • In 2021, former Gov. Ralph Northam issued an exec­ut­ive action to automatically restore the right to vote to all Virgini­ans who are not currently incar­cer­ated. In 2022, the newly-elected Governor Youngkin quietly terminated that practice and created a system that requires each person to petition the governor to have their rights restored–because government bureaucracy is known for its efficiency. The change slowed the pace for restoration, potentially blocking thousands of people from participating in upcoming elections. According to the Brennan Center, this change in policy makes Virginia the only state that permanently disenfranchises all people with felony convictions, unless the government approves individual rights restoration. 
  • Youngkin is the subject of a new federal lawsuit claiming the policy change is unconstitutional. According to the lawsuit, Virginia is the state with the fifth-highest number of citizens disenfranchised for felony convictions — over 312,000. Additionally, Black Virginians make up less than 20% of the state’s voting-age population but account for nearly half of all those disenfranchised due to a felony conviction. 

Governor Younkin has aligned himself with election deniers: 

  • In 2022, Youngkin enthusiastically campaigned for election denier and failed MAGA candidate for Arizona governor, Kari Lake. Lake has spent the better part of the last two years trying to overturn the will of the voters. Youngkin also threw his support behind Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, a vaccine conspiracy theorist and January 6th apologist. Dixon also supported an abortion ban that included cases of rape and incest. Youngkin’s continued allegiance to election deniers shows he is more interested in MAGA majorities than democracy. Youngkin is the company he keeps.
  • Earlier this year, Youngkin’s top election commissioner participated in a “secretaries of state conference” put on by organizations that spread lies about the 2020 election. 


About Stand Up America
Stand Up America is a progressive advocacy organization with nearly two million community members across the country. Focused on grassroots advocacy to stand up to corruption and voter suppression and build a more representative democracy, Stand Up America has driven over 1.7 million calls to lawmakers, registered over 100,000 voters, mobilized thousands of protestors, and contacted tens of millions of voters.

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