- Feb 4, 2005
- Reaction score
- Saint Paul, MN
- Political Leaning
An estimated 50,000 Iowans who have finished their sentences can now take part in elections.
Thousands of convicted Iowa felons who have completed their sentences are now able to register to cast ballots in the next election.
Gov. Tom Vilsack on Monday signed an executive order that automatically reinstates felons' voting privileges after they serve their prison time, probation or parole. Previously, felons had to apply to the governor, who received recommendations from the Department of Corrections and the parole board before approving or denying individual requests.
Iowa is the 46th state to allow felons to vote. Advocacy groups estimate that about 50,000 Iowa felons will be able to vote in the next election.
"It's the right thing to do. Research indicates that when people are successfully reintegrated into society after they've paid their debt to society, they are less likely to reoffend," Paul said.