Reynolds Signs Executive Order Restoring Voting Rights Of Paroled Felons

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed an executive order Wednesday morning to automatically restore voting rights to most paroled felons.


The order restores voting rights to about 40-thousand people statewide, though it won’t apply to those convicted of murder, manslaughter or serious sex crimes. Reynolds had advocated for an amendment to the Iowa Constitution to make the change — but indicated she would sign the executive order after that process stalled in the Iowa Legislature.


Reynolds says lawmakers still need to approve the amendment so it can be voted on by Iowans.


The order, which technically restores citizenship rights, does NOT require repayment of victim restitution before a felon may vote. That was a sticking point for many Republican legislators who balked at the idea of automatically restoring felon voting rights, and Reynolds says she wanted to let that discussion continue while the legislation was in the works.


The governor says she has talked with the groups which pushed for the change and they plan to have a bigger celebration in the future.