The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

January 7, 2014

Iowa to remove felons' question from voter form

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is moving to revise its voter registration form to clear up widespread confusion over felons' voting rights.

An administrative rule published Tuesday removes a question that caused some voters to erroneously mark a box saying they were felons who couldn't vote. Another revision explains that convicted felons aren't qualified until they have their voting rights restored by Gov. Terry Branstad.

Approved by a state panel last month, the change is expected to occur in April.

Many ex-offenders say they do not know whether their rights have been restored due to confusing and changing state policies on the issue.

In 2011, Branstad rescinded a policy in which felons automatically got their voting rights back after completing their sentences. Now, former offenders have to apply to the governor individually.

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