Iowa To Remove Felons' Question From Voter Registration Form

"I Voted" stickers sit on the table for change of address, provisional ballots and new voter registration at the polling place at the Community Center in Robins on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is moving to revise its voter registration form to clear up widespread confusion over felons' voting rights.

An administrative rule published Tuesday removes a question that caused some voters to erroneously mark a box saying they were felons who couldn't vote. Another revision explains that convicted felons aren't qualified until they have their voting rights restored by Gov. Terry Branstad.

Approved by a state panel last month, the change is expected to occur in April.

Many ex-offenders say they do not know whether their rights have been restored due to confusing and changing state policies on the issue.

In 2011, Branstad rescinded a policy in which felons automatically got their voting rights back after completing their sentences. Now, former offenders have to apply to the governor individually.

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