Republicans in the House have advanced a bill that would force county auditors to pull all the newly-enrolled names of felons from voter registration rolls. Last July Governor Tom Vilsack signed an executive order granting voting rights to convicted felons who’ve done their time. But Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield, wants to reinstate the old system which required each felon to apply individually to the governor to have their voting rights restored.
Baudler says victims contacted him and told him if a felon wants their voting rights, they should “jump through the hoops” rather having the governor grant every felon who’s completed prison and parole the right to vote. The House Public Safety Committee approved Baudler’s bill Thursday, with all the Republicans voting for it and all the Democrats on the committee voting no.
Baudler fully expects Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack to veto the bill. “I think when it snows on the hills of hell, it’ll be signed (into law),” Baudler says. The bill wouldn’t be likely to even reach Vilsack’s desk, as the Senate is split 50-50 and Senate Democrats would block the bill from coming up for a vote.