DES MOINES, IOWA (STL.NEWS)– Today at her weekly press conference, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a new application for felons to have their voting rights restored. The governor also reiterated her support for a constitutional amendment to permanently restore the voting rights of felons who have completed their sentence.
The new application can be viewed online here. Iowans looking to restore their voting rights can go to governor.iowa.gov/services/voting-rights-restoration.
“Iowans believe in second chances and we should help those individuals who want to re-enter society by restoring their voting rights, offering in-demand training, or encouraging additional education,” said Gov. Reynolds. “But we also must remember the victims and their families. Their voices continue to be heard as we balance felon rights with forgiveness and another chance at life.”
The new application unveiled today is simplified and easier to understand. It requests only the information necessary to appropriately consider whether an Iowan is eligible to have their voting rights restored. It removes the requirement to submit a criminal background check and the related $15 fee. And it no longer requires the collection of redundant financial documentation that can instead be verified online.
Additionally, the governor announced a goal to grant or deny applications within one month from receipt. The Iowa Department of Corrections and local Community Based Corrections districts will also be distributing the new application to Iowans as they discharge from prison, parole, or probation. These new measures will remove unnecessary burdens for Iowans looking for a second chance.
Gov. Reynolds has made redemption for Iowans a top priority and has made significant progress on this issue since 2017:
- Her office restored the right to vote for 122 offenders since May of 2017.
- Her proposed constitutional amendment to permanently restore the voting rights of felons passed the House Judiciary Committee last week with a unanimous vote.