Iowa House OKs resolution to restore voting rights to felons

March 28, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has overwhelmingly approved a resolution that seeks to amend the state constitution and restore voting rights to felons who complete their sentences, but it’s only the first step in a long process.

The House on Thursday voted 95-2 to approve the resolution and send it to the Senate. If approved by the Senate and passed again by the Legislature in 2021 or 2022, it would go to voters.

The proposal is a priority of Gov. Kim Reynolds, but it could face opposition in the Senate.

Lawmakers also are considering a measure defining what’s required for a sentence to be deemed complete.

Some lawmakers want to require total repayment of restitution. Others want to exclude those convicted of murder, rape, or child molestation.

Iowa voter registration is currently canceled upon conviction of a felony and the rights can only be restored by the governor. Only Iowa and Kentucky have such strict requirements.