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Ex-Richmond official challenges felon voting loss

Wednesday - 7/25/2012, 1:34pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - A former Richmond city councilman says Virginia is unfairly taking away the voting rights of felons.

Sa-ad El-Amin filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Richmond challenging felony disenfranchisement in the state. He argues that the state has violated his equal protections rights.

According to the lawsuit, criminals given immunity or plea agreements that result in misdemeanor convictions can keep their right to vote. It also says that after the Civil War, Virginia didn't disenfranchise people who participated in the rebellion.

The 72-year-old El-Amin was convicted of conspiracy to attempt or evade taxes in 2003. He was released from prison in 2006.

A spokesman for the Virginia Attorney General's Office told the Richmond Times- Dispatch ( http://bit.ly/M8hDu0) that he couldn't comment on pending litigation.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)