Last State Finally Allows Felons to Vote

Last State Finally Allows Felons to Vote

( – Iowa has come into line with every other state in the union by restoring the vote for people who’ve been convicted of a felony. Governor Kim Reynolds (R) signed an executive order on Wednesday that will automatically restore the right to vote to most felons once they’ve met certain conditions.

Felony disenfranchisement laws have existed in the US since 1792, with the first one introduced by Kentucky. By 1870, 28 states out of the 38 that existed at the time withdrew the vote from felons, usually for life. However, in the 20th century these laws were gradually eliminated until, by 2018, only three states still had them. Kentucky and Virginia recently repealed theirs, and now Iowa has followed suit.

Reynolds says the restoration of voting rights comes from “our fundamental belief in redemption and second chances.” She’s already tried to overturn the ban twice but was blocked in the state legislature. Now she’s used the nuclear option of an executive order to force it through.

Under the new law, most felons will regain the vote once they’ve completed all prison sentences, parole and probation requirements. However, some won’t automatically get it back. Anyone convicted of a felony homicide will have to apply for voter restoration individually – and serious sex offenders given a special sentence may still be barred from voting for life.

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