Despite mounting criticism, a spokesman says Gov. Terry Branstad won't change the application process that former Iowa felons have to navigate to get their voting rights back.
Newspaper editorials, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Democratic Party have denounced Branstad's policy requiring ex-offenders to submit a credit report, pay all fines and restitution, obtain a $15 background check and answer 31 questions before he'll restore their citizenship rights.
A Des Moines Register editorial Sunday called the policy an embarrassment to Iowa. The criticism comes after The Associated Press reported Branstad has restored the rights of 11 offenders since implementing the policy, which is among the harshest in the nation.Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the policy helps crime victims by denying felons their voting rights until they pay restitution.