People getting out of Iowa prisons after serving time for a felony will now have some more help in getting their voting rights restored. Anyone with a felony conviction must apply to the governor to get their those rights restored.
Iowa Department of Corrections Director, Beth Skinner, says they are replacing the blank application with one that has most of the information already filled out. “It should be a pretty seamless process because I think what happens in a lot of cases is some of the information is so hard to find for them and our system already has that,” Skinner says.
Iowa-Nebraska NAACP President Betty Andrews recently asked state officials to make the change. “I’m really excited. This is something the NAACP has been pushing. That was an idea we came up with to kind of be a gap filler,” according to Andrews. Andrews says she will continue to ask Governor Reynolds to restore felon voting rights with executive action, but Reynolds is still advocating for a constitutional amendment to make the change.
Kentucky’s newly-elected governor says he will sign an executive order today restoring voting rights to felons. That action would make Iowa the only state which bans felons from voting and requires them to apply to have the voting rights restored.
(Thanks to Katrina Sostaric, Iowa Public Radio)