Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today 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: https://governor.iowa.gov/constituent-services/restoration-of-citizenship-rights/.
"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