DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she will sign an executive order Wednesday granting convicted felons the right to vote, ending Iowa’s place as the only remaining state to broadly deny voting rights to felons.
The Republican governor promised in June that she would take such action.
Reynolds said she’ll continue to press the Legislature to pass a constitutional amendment, which couldn’t be reversed by a future governor and she proposed last year but couldn’t get Republican state senators to support. Several lawmakers insisted on exclusions for people convicted of more serious crimes, such as murder, and that felons be required to pay all victim restitution before they could vote.
Reynolds has made the issue a priority based on her belief that felons deserve a second chance and that restoring their voting rights is part of that opportunity for redemption.