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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Voting rights restored: How Iowans convicted of a felony can check their status, register to vote

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an executive order over the summer to automatically restore the right to vote for thousands of Iowans convicted of a felony.

If you are a convicted felon, getting your voting rights restored has now been made easy.

The first step is to go to www.restoreyourvote.iowa.gov, the new, interactive website run by the Iowa Secretary of State's Office. It's meant to help Iowa felons understand how to vote in the November election.

"Governor Reynolds has issued restorations of voting rights daily for those who have completed their sentences since August 5, 2020, and she will continue to do so for those who complete their sentences in the future," the website says.

This summer, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an executive order automatically restoring most Iowa felons' right to vote. Today, thousands of Iowans are elgible to vote, but some aren't sure how to register, or might feel intimidated.

All you need to do to participate in the election is register to vote. You need to have some form of I.D.—like a driver's license or a passport—and then you can register to vote.

Remember, you can register in-person, online, or by mail.

This applies to Iowans who have been convicted of a felony and have completed their sentence. 

You cannot vote while you're serving time in prison or jail. If you have been convicted of a crime such as murder, your voting rights are not automatically restored but individuals can petition the governor to do so.

Paying restitution is not required to vote.

For more information on voting in Iowa, click here to access Local 5's Voter Guide or text VOTE to 515-457-1026.

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