Iowa's felony disenfranchisement laws are the harshest in the country, automatically stripping a person of their voting rights for life after conviction of any felony--even non-violent offenses, and even after someone has completed their sentence. Let's change that.
Iowa's Disenfranchisement Law Is Out of Step With Other States
Iowa is one of just two states (shown in blue) that automatically bans voting for Iowans convicted of any felony, even for a non-violent crime and even after a person has served their sentence.
It's possible to get that right to vote back through the Governor's Office, but the process is arduous, intimidating, and many feel they need to retain a lawyer to help them.
Disenfranchisement Harms Families and Communities
One in ten African Americans of voting age are currently barred from voting for life. That disenfranchisement wreaks terrible injustice on the African-American community in our state.
If laws don't change, that number can be expected to increase to 1 in 4, taking away the voice of even more people of color.
Mom Charged With Crime for Voting Fought to Change the System
ACLU of Iowa client Kelli Jo Griffin was just a mom who wanted to take her kids with her to vote because they were learning about it in school.
She found herself being staked out by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, charged with perjury for alleged voting fraud, and spending thousands of dollars to defend herself in a jury trial before being acquitted.
In Iowa, all people with felony convictions are permanently disenfranchised, unless the Governor restores their right to vote.