Law removing felons’ voting rights is upheld

In 2013 Kelli Jo Griffin of Montrose tried to cast her vote on a city election and was charged with perjury for registering to vote as a felon. In 2008 she obtained a felony for cocaine delivery. The jury determined in 2013 that she made an honest mistake when registering to vote. A policy that was established in Iowa automatically gave felons their voting rights back as soon as they were no longer under state supervision. However, in 2011, Governor Terry Branstad signed an executive order that required felons to petition his office before they could regain voting rights. Felons now must submit an application, proof that their court costs have been paid, and a detailed criminal history record. The confusion arose because some felons fell under the 2011 executive order Governor Branstad had signed and some fell into the category before the order. Although the lower court has upheld the law removing felons’ voting rights, the issue is on appeal.


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