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Voting rights application for Iowa felons streamlined by Branstad


This news story was published on December 29, 2012.
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State capitol of Iowa

State capitol of Iowa

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday announced the streamlining of restoration of voting rights application. The announcement of a streamlined process comes after the administration heard from Iowans regarding the process and recognized the need to act.

The updated application may be found at here.

“When an individual commits a felony, it is fair they earn their rights back by paying restitution to their victim, court costs, and fines,” said Branstad. “Iowa has a good and fair policy on the restoration of rights for convicted felons, and to automatically restore the right to vote without requiring the completion of the responsibilities associated with the criminal conviction would damage the balance between the rights and responsibility of citizens.”

“Too often victims are forgotten and it is important victims of felonies and serious crimes receive their restitution,” said Reynolds. “The updated process for restoration of voting rights streamlines the process for applicants while ensuring we are mindful of the victims of the crime.”

The updated application includes:

· Simplified instructions for applicants

· Clarification of the current policy about submitting documentation to show an applicant completed paying their fines, restitution and court costs or has been making consistent payments in good faith

· Provides contact information so applicants can obtain free resources to help them fill out the application

· Removes the requirement for a credit history check for the voting application

· Provides a more detailed “checklist of materials” to help applicants turn in a completed application

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4 Responses to Voting rights application for Iowa felons streamlined by Branstad

  1. Avatar

    anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I agree that if payments stop you will lose your rights again. As long as the crime wasn’t violent they should get firearm rights back also.

  2. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2012 at 8:17 am

    @Anonymouse-I think you are wrong here. The proposal says all they have to do it be current on their payments, not be paid in full. That means what Katie says is true. They can be current and get their voting rights back and then quit paying. There is nothing in the proposal that I read that will prevent this from happening.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymouse Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2012 at 3:59 am

    I do believe that they have to fully pay the costs BEFORE they get the rights restored.

  4. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    December 29, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Yup. They’ll pay restitution and fines up until they get their voting rights restored and then they’ll quit paying. There needs to be a law that voting rights be removed again if they quit paying. You can’t trust criminals.