Gov. Reynolds signs executive order restoring the right to vote for some felons

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 11:30 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Gov. Reynolds on Wednesday signed an executive order restoring the right to vote for Iowans who have already completed their felony sentences.

The order requires Iowans to complete any prison, probation, parole, or special sentence, and requires those who have completed sentences for felony homicide to individually apply for restoration.

“This is a cause on which so many Iowans have worked on for years,” she said. “It boils down to our fundamental belief in redemption and second chances.”

Gov. Reynolds worked with the NAACP, the ACLU, Americans for Prosperity, and state legislators, among many others, on the order.

“Quite simply, when someone serves their sentence and pays the price our justice system set for their crimes, they should have their right to vote restored automatically, plain and simple,” Reynolds said. “Iowa holds the unfortunate status as the only state in the country that prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from voting or holding public office for life, unless they petition the governor to restore those rights. That creates the potential for uneven justice.”

Reynold went on to say that today’s Executive Order is a temporary solution because it can be changed by the next governor. So she is working towards getting a constitutional amendment passed.

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