Can a Felon Vote in Iowa? -

Can a Felon Vote in Iowa?

On December 28, 1846, Iowa entered the US as the 29th state. The state capital and biggest city in the state is De Moines and its major lake is Red Rock Lake. The state, which contains approximately 56,000 square miles, gives Iowa the distinction of being the 26th biggest state in the country.

Major industries include food manufacturing, insurance, and the growing or raising of corn, hogs, pigs and soybeans. Iowa is also the Presidential birthplace of Herbert Clark Hoover, who was born on August 10, 1874 in West Branch. The 31st President of the US, Hoover served from 1929 to 1933.

The highest point in the state is located at Hawkeye Point, situated in northwestern Iowa. The landscape at that point rises 1,670 feet or 509 meters above sea level. The lowest point is at the juncture of the Des Moines River and Mississippi River, which is 480 feet or 146 meters above sea level.

The nickname of the state is the “Hawkeye State” and its state motto is “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” However, this motto does not hold so true for Iowans who lose their voting rights for life when convicted of a felony crime.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, felons lose all their rights for life unless they can obtain approval by the government for voting rights restoration. According the Secretary of State’s website, an individual’s voter’s registration is cancelled if he is convicted of a felony crime in Iowa.

Voting rights may be reinstituted by applying to the Governor’s Office once a felon has completed his sentence and any necessary parole, probation or supervised release. All restitutions, courts costs and fees must be paid as well prior to application. Unlike other states, felons do not automatically regain their rights and can re-register to vote upon release from prison.

Felon Voting Law in Iowa

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Iowa remains as just one of three states (Kentucky and Florida also bar rights), that imposes a lifetime ban on voting for felons, even after they have completed their sentences.

The ACLU in Iowa has coordinated its work with the Voter Registration Commission in the state to ensure that the voter registration form itself is clearer and more understandable to read. The organization successfully lobbied that certain wording be clarified regarding the voting rights of felons.

How a Felon in Iowa Can Restore Their Voting Rights

The electoral privileges of felons in Iowa are banned unless the person seeking reinstatement of his rights makes an application for restoration of voting to the state’s governor. In Iowa, a restoration of citizenship reinstates the right of an individual to hold public office or vote. The application for restoration of citizenship is not an application for a special restoration of rights (firearms), or an application for commutatation or pardon. If you wish to apply for a commutation, pardon or a special restoration of citizenship rights, you need to fill out and submit a different form. This form can be filled out by clicking on this link.

If you are applying to restore your voting rights, there is no application fee for receiving clemency. According to the application, anyone can apply for reinstitution of their voting rights or right to hold public office by filling out the application and signing it. All the questions should be answered in their entirety. A release form, which is an addendum to the application, should be signed and dated as well.

Supporting documents should be enclosed, including proof of payment of all fines, restitution and court costs. If the applicant is still paying off the costs, fines and restitution, then he should submit proof as well as an explanation for the non-payment of the fees. A current Iowa Criminal History Record should be included too.

Place the application and back-up details in an envelope and mail the information to – Legal Counsel, Governor’s Office, State Capitol Building in Des Moines, Iowa 50319. Make sure you keep a copy of the application and supporting paperwork. You can apply online and obtain all the details by following this link.

Other Resources For Felons in Iowa

Getting Started: If this is your first time to our website, we highly recommend that you visit our getting started page to understand everything we have to offer. You can do so by clicking here.

Jobs For Felons: If you're a felon looking for a job in Alabama, we have all of the resources you need including job listings by city, companies that hire felons, and our own job board. Click Here to learn more.

Legal Representation: If you're in need of an expungement attorney to try to get rid of your felony in Alabama, or need a criminal lawyer or other type of lawyer, you can get a FREE consultation by clicking here to visit our legal representation page.

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