Free Our Vote

Voting Rights in


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Registered to Vote?

Est. Fines, Fees, and Costs

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Disenfranchisement laws in Iowa have oscillated over the last two decades. Former Governor Tom Vilsack introduced the first of these recent reforms, creating a restoration process for those who completed the terms of their sentence on or after July 4, 2005. This reform pre-dates many other states’ re-enfranchisement programs. However, the subsequent governor, rescinded this rule on January 14, 2011. Felony disenfranchisement continued to bar returning citizens from engaging in the political process until 2020.
Then, on August 5, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds issued Executive Order 7. This measure fully restored voting rights to Iowans with past convictions once the terms of incar-ceration, probation, parole, or special sentence were completed. The order was retroactive, applying to those who had already been released from the Iowa Department of Corrections. The order did exclude, however, individuals convicted of felony homicide offenses.

Despite this recent change in law, the political and legal landscape have fomented an air of uncertainty for many potential beneficiaries. Paired with the fact that voting illegally in Iowa can carry a punishment of up to 5 years of imprisonment, it is understandable that many individuals with prior felonies might not embrace their newly obtained opportunity to vote. Free Our Vote seeks to help in this endeavor, informing new returning citizens of their voting rights.