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News Brief

May 4, 2017DES MOINES, Iowa |  By: McCoy

Advocates fight against Iowa's lifetime felon voting rights ban

Voting rights advocates continue their fight against Iowa's lifetime voting ban of felons. Iowa is one of only three states still enacting a lifetime ban. InsideOut Reentry worker, Mike Cervantes, says voting rights help released convicts connect with their community again.

In 2016 Iowa courts upheld the ban and InsideOut Reentry is among dozens of organizations fighting to regain voting rights for Iowa's convicted felons. In 2005 the ban was lifted and rights were automatically restored upon completion of sentences. However, in 2011 people with felony convictions had to apply for voting rights. Cervantes says this procedure is a rigorous process for a felon.

While this application process is still in use, the number of questions on the application has been reduced from 29 to 13.