Letters to the Editor

Restore felon voting rights in Iowa

I was shocked to learn recently that Iowa is the only state that doesn’t allow anyone convicted of a felony to vote — ever, even after their time has been served. This means that about 60,000 Iowans can’t vote.

A felony sounds serious and it can be. But stealing something valued at $1,501 or more is a felony in our state and so is being caught with a certain amount of marijuana.

Keeping these people from voting doesn’t keep our communities safer or make our democracy stronger. It actually just prevents thousands of Iowans from successfully reintegrating into society and being full members of our community.

Gov. Kim Reynolds supports legislation that has already passed in the Iowa House that will amend the Iowa Constitution to restore voting rights. I know how much I value my right to vote, a right so many have fought for us all to have, and that’s why I support HJR 14 and will be urging my senator to vote yes.

Jessica Biwer

Cedar Rapids

ACLU Volunteer

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