On July 4, 2005, Iowa Governor Tom Vislack issued an executive order that restored voting rights to convicted felons once their sentences had been served. Previously, offenders had to apply to the governor's office to be permitted to vote again. Governor Vislack had announced in June 2005 his decision to change the state's disenfranchisement system, which prevented 1 in 4 African-American Iowans from voting. This decision made Iowa the 46th state to allow felons to regain their voting privileges automatically after their sentences are served and increased the number of Iowans eligible to vote by around 80,000 voters.
Learn more about legal issues surrounding voting from the JURIST news archive.
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