DES MOINES, IOWA (October 2, 2020) — Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announces new resources to assist individuals with past felony convictions who have had their voting rights restored. Pate’s office designed a new voter-registration form that was unanimously approved by the state’s bipartisan Voter Registration Commission on Friday. The new form clarifies that Iowans with felony convictions can register to vote once their rights are restored by the Governor, including by Executive Order. The old form remains valid for voter registration.
Additionally, Sec Pate launched a new interactive website, RestoreYourVote.Iowa.gov. It includes an FAQ section, direct links to Iowa’s voter-registration portal, a toolkit for stakeholder groups to utilize, and an easy-to-follow video that explains the voting process.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued an executive order in August that restored the voting rights of those who have completed all terms of their sentence. The exception is for homicide or related crimes.
“I agree with Gov Reynolds that Iowans who have served their time deserve a second chance and should be able to make their voices heard by voting. These resources will help Iowans with felony convictions participate in the process,” Sec Pate said.
Sec Pate received input from the Governor’s Office, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, the Brennan Center for Justice, and others on how to assist Iowans with felony convictions.
The Secretary of State’s Office and the Iowa Judicial Branch recently concluded an extensive review of its active felon database to ensure its accuracy. More than 90,000 records were manually reviewed by both agencies. The new database will be available for election officials ahead of the November 3 election.