The Last State With a Lifetime Voting Ban for People With Felony Records Just Reinstated Their Rights

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The erosion of voting rights across the country is a chilling fact of our moment, exacerbated by the pandemic and a president whose administration is doing all it can to weaken ballot access and throw fair elections into question. But there’s good news out of Iowa: The governor signed an executive order yesterday reinstating the voting rights of almost everyone who’d completed a felony sentence.

Iowa, the last state with a lifetime voting ban of this kind, joins the rest of the country, an overdue moment but cause for celebration. The executive order is “at best a temporary solution,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said, and “something that is fundamentally right should not be based on benevolence of a single elected official.” The order follows public pressure from advocates and Des Moines Black Lives Matter activists, and it’s a “tribute to the legacy of Congressman [John] Lewis,” said Democratic state Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, one of the state’s few Black lawmakers.

If you vote in Iowa, do you think this will fundamentally change any upcoming elections in your state? Share your thoughts at recharge@motherjones.com.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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