Only five states prevent convicted felons from voting after they’ve served their sentences — a number that’s about to drop to four. Iowa’s Governor Tom Vilsack says he’ll sign a bill on Independence Day to allow felons to vote after they’ve paid their debt. Opponents, like state Senator David Miller, a Republican from Libertyville, say voting decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis. Miller says “Rather than making it a public policy and a blanket policy that it should be decided on an individual basis and we have a process to do that.” Senator Mike Connolly, a Democrat from Dubuque, supports the legislation Vilsack plans to sign on July 4th and says it can be a long road back to “normal life” for felons. Connolly says “The Governor’s action, I think, allows people who were in the process to get their rights restored immediately and those people in the future that have done their time, paid their debt to society, will have their rights restored right away.” The other four states that permanently deny voting rights to felons are Florida, Virginia, Alabama and Kentucky.
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