Iowa governor pledges to restore voting rights to some felons

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Iowa governor Kim Reynolds alternate a cheek kiss throughout a marketing campaign rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has dedicated to restoring voting rights to these with previous felony convictions, based on a Radio Iowa report, probably increasing the voters in a state that might be aggressive within the Nov. three presidential election.

Most U.S. states limit voting for some individuals with felony convictions, however Iowa is the final state the place felons are barred from voting even after serving their sentences, until they efficiently apply to the governor for restoration.

The rule disenfranchised 2.2% of Iowa’s voting-age inhabitants and 9.8% of African Americans in 2016, based on The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit group that works on prison justice.

Reynolds, a Republican, made the pledge on Tuesday, a day after she met with Black Lives Matter activists, who’ve held demonstrations in a number of Iowa cities for the reason that loss of life of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis final month.

Reynolds advised reporters she was consulting with “various groups,” however would concern an govt order on voting rights for felons earlier than the November election, Radio Iowa reported.

She didn’t go into element in regards to the phrases of the order, and her workplace didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters request for remark.

Earlier this month, Reynolds signed a invoice that will require felons to pay monetary damages owed as a part of their sentence, in addition to serving their jail time, earlier than regaining the appropriate to vote.

An analogous rule on monetary obligations in Florida was struck down by a federal courtroom final month, after voting rights teams argued it constituted a ballot tax. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has appealed the ruling.

Republican President Donald Trump received Iowa by a 9.4% margin within the 2016 election, however a latest Des Moines Register/Mediacom ballot of possible voters within the state had Trump at 44% versus 43% for his presumptive Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Paul Simao


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