Flood Warning

Gov. Reynolds Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Restore Felon Voting Rights

DES MOINES, Iowa -- On Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds proposed a constitutional amendment on felon voting rights.

Right now, felons must apply to the governor to have their voting rights restored. That rule was enacted by Gov. Branstad in 2011.

Under the Reynolds proposal, felons would be allowed to vote after completing their prison sentences, probation and parole. Gov. Reynolds says she is calling for a constitutional amendment rather than an executive order because everyone can weigh in.

“I believe in second chances but I also believe there is a process that has been laid out that gives us an opportunity to amend the constitution and as I said, in the constitution I believe that they shouldn't forever be banned, but I don't believe that one person should be making that decision, and we have a process to amend the constitution and put it in front of the people,” said Gov. Reynolds.

The process for a constitutional amendment will take some time. The legislature would have to approve the proposal twice in the next four years. It would then need to be approved in a state-wide vote.

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