The ACLU of Iowa stands committed to helping Iowans exercise their right to vote.
June 30, 2016
Today, justice was denied. The Iowa Supreme Court's Griffin ruling, which denies Iowans with felony convictions in their background the right to vote, was a setback. But it is just one battle in an ongoing struggle to make sure that as many Iowans as possible are free to exercise their right to vote.
Unfortunately, in Iowa, thousands of Iowans, particularly African-Americans, remain unable to vote or participate fully in their communities. And as the court points out, Iowans who have felony convictions who have fully served their sentences are still subject “to flip-flopping executive orders depending on the political philosophy of the executive [governor] rather than on a more stable legal regime.
This is no way to run a democracy. Iowa remains of just three states that permanently banned all people with a felony conviction from voting. With this decision, Iowa, Florida, and Kentucky are the only states that still impose permanent disenfranchisement.
But the ACLU of Iowa stands strong in fighting for the right of Iowans to exercise their right to vote. We will continue to fight for that right.
For Kelli personally, we will be working with her to go through the arduous process of applying to the governor’s office for a restoration of her voting rights. We’ll also continue to help educate Iowans on the complex patchwork of voting laws left by a series of executive orders.
And, most ambitiously, we’ll start work on a constitutional amendment so that finally, the thousands of Iowans who have completed their sentences can once again be full members of society and exercise their right to vote.