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Ex-offenders elated to head to the polls this election season

Voter registration office (WSET).
Voter registration office (WSET).
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DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- Many of Virginia's newest voters are ready for November 8; thousands of ex-felons had their voting rights restored this year.

The Danville Registrar's office told me that 239 ex-offenders registered to vote in the Danville area.

"On November 8th, it's going to be a really big moment for me," said Everett Linder. After being incarcerated for 11 years, Linder just wants to feel like he's part of society.

"It feels good to be apart of it, finally... having your right restored," Linder exclaimed.

His wish was granted this year to be able to take part in the election process. "Some will respect it and some won't, some feel that we don't deserve to have our rights back," said Linder. "Take the bitter with the sweet."

Barry Mayo, a Case Manager at Southwest Cares Pittsylvania County Community Action says giving a person that right back, is essential. "Just to see that opportunity to vote, to be able to be a voice... that's what we need to have," Mayo said.

He says it's so much bigger than individual rights, but it's a step for our nation as a whole.

Linder added, "It's a step for mankind. Its a step to being apart of our community, being apart of society, most importantly representing the state in the way that they are proud of."

The Registrar's office says for the majority of ex offenders who registered, it will be their first time voting. And that's true for Linder.

He said he always likes to talk politics, at his barber shop. "I didn't just want to be apart of it, I wanted others to be apart of it," Linder explained.

So he offered an incentive: If you registered to vote, he would provide a discounted haircut.

This is an historical election for many, including Linder saying it's one of those moments he is going to cherish.

The registrar's office said they still expect some ex-felons registrations to come in this week.

They will be able to vote as long as their applications were post marked by October 15.

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