Last updated on: 6/7/2018 | Author:

Robert F. McDonnell, JD, MPP, MBA Biography

Former Governor of Virginia
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should People Who Have Completed Felony Sentences Be Allowed to Vote?"

“I believe that the commission of a crime must have a tough and just consequence…

I also believe that once an offender has fully paid his debt to society, he deserves a second chance…

It is a mark of good government to restore felons’ rights and provide them the opportunity to succeed and become law-abiding citizens again…

Therefore, I am amending the criteria used to adjudicate non-violent felons applications for restoration of rights. With these changes, Virginia will have an automatic restoration of rights process…”

Governor McDonnell’s letter outlining his felon voting policy changes,, May 29, 2013

[Editor’s Note: Individuals and organizations that do not support felon re-enfranchisement until felons have paid all fines and restitution (in addition to having completed their term of incarceration and probation/parole) are classified as Not Clearly Pro or Con. Also, those who support re-enfranchisement of some felons but not others (for example, felons who committed murder or rape) are also classified as Not Clearly Pro or Con.]

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Governor of Virginia (Republican), Jan. 16, 2010-Jan. 11, 2014
  • Chairman, Republican Governors Association, 2011-2012
  • Virginia Attorney General, 2006-2009
  • Recipient, Legislator of the Year, Virginia Sheriff’s Association, 2005
  • Recipient, Legislator of the Year, Network of Victims of Crime, 1996
  • Member, Virginia House of Delegates, 1992-2005
  • Former Prosecutor, Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
  • Former Sales Manager, The Virginian-Pilot
  • Lieutenant Colonel, Army Reserve, 1981-1997
  • Employee, American Hospital Supply Corporation, 1981-1985
  • United States Army, active duty, 1976-1981
  • JD, Regent University, 1989
  • MPP, Regent University, 1989
  • MBA, Boston University, 1980
  • BBA, Management, University of Notre Dame, 1976
  • On Jan. 21, 2014 he and his wife were charged with fraud and conspiracy in a 14-count indictment, and on Sep. 4, 2014 they were found guilty of 11 of the charges
  • He is married with five children
Quoted in:
  1. Should People with Felony Convictions Automatically Regain the Right to Vote after Their Full Sentence Is Served?