Iowa Senate fails to pass felon voting rights amendment

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 5:14 AM CDT
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Sunday, the Iowa Senate adjourned without passing HJR 14, a proposed amendment to restore felon voting rights in the state.

According to the Des Moines Register, Senate Republicans declined to pass the measure, citing the belief Governor Kim Reynolds (R-IA) may sign an executive order immediately restoring voting eligibility for people with felony convictions after serving their sentence.

The Des Moines Register reports Gov. Reynolds met with Black Lives Matter leaders Friday to discuss signing an executive order.

In a statement from the Iowa ACLU, the group thanked Gov. Reynolds and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for support of the effort, writing the "turn of events allows Iowa's worst-in-the-nation felony disenfranchisement system to stand—for now. Iowa's disenfranchisement law has been especially devastating to Black communities across Iowa, where one in 10 Black adults cannot vote because of a felony conviction. This means entire communities have a reduced voice in our government and it perpetuates the problems of a deeply flawed criminal justice system. The ACLU of Iowa is committed to ending felony disenfranchisement in our state, and has been working in coalition with our allies toward this day for over a decade. We're not about to give up now."