Gov. Reynolds talks felon voting rights restoration, MCO payments during legislative meeting

Local News

DES MOINES — The Iowa caucuses are less than a month away, and Gov. Kim Reynolds is telling Iowa felons that if they want to caucus in February, the time is narrowing to send in an application to restore their voting rights.

Reynolds, a Republican, has made it one of her top priorities to give Iowa felons the right to vote again. She tried to push through an amendment related to felons’ restoration of voting rights during the 2019 legislation session, but the bill was stalled in the Senate. Telling reporters on Tuesday, Reynolds said that her office is trying to process 347 applications in the system right now so that these Iowans can caucus on February 3.

“They will be completed prior to the February caucuses,” said Reynolds. “…They’ve made the commitment to get those done. Individuals who are interested in participating in the February caucuses need to get that application in as soon as possible.”

The application for the restoration of voting rights can be found here.

As of December 2019, Iowa is now the only state that puts a lifetime ban on an Iowa felon’s right to vote unless that individual appeals directly to the governor.

Gov. Reynolds also addressed the withholding of payments to Iowa Total Care, one of the two managed care organizations for Medicare in the state.

“If providers aren’t being paid in a timely manner they’re going to be held accountable just like we implemented in the contract negotiations,” Gov. Reynolds said. “It shouldn’t be a surprise. It was part of the contract negotiations. We’re all partners in delivering services to Iowans and they need to hold up their end of the bargain.”

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