Letters to the Editor

Give back my right to vote in Iowa

Across America, individuals with past felony convictions have the right to vote returned automatically upon completion of sentence conditions such as, incarceration, probation, and fines. Iowa is the only state requiring an individual application to reinstate voting rights upon sentence completion — the governor determines if rights are restored. This impacts more than 65,000 people.

Society tells us that if we believe something is unfair, we should influence change by voting. Without voting rights, opinions and therefore people, are not represented.

I am 46 years old, married, mother of two. I work four jobs, own my home, pay taxes, comply with laws, and have spent my life in this community. I volunteer often and work in the community services field as a Peer Recovery Coach. I am blessed to have the opportunity to help individuals that have a mental health condition in addition to history of substance use. I feel my voice should be heard. Unfortunately, not everyone feels that I have this right.

I am also a person that has past felony convictions. I am unable to vote.

I have always believed in the constitutional rights that are given to us as American citizens. I have made mistakes in the past and I take full responsibility for my actions. I have made changes in my life including my decision to remain in recovery from addiction for over 3 years. I feel that I am a positive member of our community and that my voice should be heard.

Melanie Viner-Bramow

Marion

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.