“Iowa Governor Expands Voting Rights”

Kira Lerner for The Appeal:

In the latest victory in the movement against criminal disenfranchisement, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued an executive order Wednesday restoring voting rights to most people convicted of felonies who have completed their sentences. The order will enable tens of thousands of disenfranchised Iowans to register to vote by the November elections.

State advocates have long called for Iowa to expand voting rights. In recent months, Black Lives Matter activists protested in the state capitol, urging Reynolds to take action. 

The order is a temporary fix since a future governor could rescind it. Reynolds has called on the legislature to adopt a constitutional amendment to expand voting rights, to no avail. 

It is also a partial one. The order keeps people convicted of certain crimes disenfranchised for life, a practice the vast majority of states have ended, and it requires people to finish all terms of their sentence, including incarceration, probation and parole, before their rights can be restored. 

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