PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth woman with a felony record may soon be able to vote again, along with thousands of other Virginians. She called Tuesday a historic day, after Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced new reforms to the restoration of rights process.
Ellen Tomiye said she went to prison 15 years ago for writing less than $4,000 in bad checks. “You know, it’s so easy to do wrong. It’s hard to get out of it once you do it … and I knew I was wrong,” she said.
Tomiye said she served almost three years in prison. “I thought that coming out I would be able to just go ahead on and just pick up where I left off … but no,” she said.
Tomiye said she paid her restitution, but has $24,000 in court costs that, according to her payment plan, won’t be cleared until 2047. That meant she couldn’t vote until 2047, she said. Last month, Tomiye talked about it to Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney.