Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Iowa Moms Iowa Moms

How Hard Should It Be For Offenders To Vote?

Posted by on Nov. 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 10 Replies

As I write this, many Iowans are waiting patiently to exercise their right to vote for the candidate of their choice and the issues that matter to them.

But some Iowans, nearly 13,000, didn't get to vote on Tuesday due to regulations related to their past criminal conduct, regulations that some say are too confusing and restrictive.

Many states have laws that limit the ability of convicted felons to vote, but Iowa is one of only four states that require felons (who have already served their time in prison and probation) to reapply for the right to vote, rather than getting the right back automatically after a certain time frame or successful completion of parole and payment of all fines, court costs and any victim's restoration. In Iowa, offenders must submit an application, pay for a credit check, answer a 31 question long interview form, and submit paperwork to prove they've paid all their fines.

This policy, which went in to effect last year on order from Governor Branstad, has effected over 13,000 people who have completed prison and parole sentences since January of 2011. Of the 13,000 who might be eligible only 20 have completed the process.

It seems to be that there must be something wrong with the process if .001% of people are able to complete it. I understand wanting to make sure that people have paid their debt to society, but I also believe that voting is an important right that should be restored if someone has done what they need to do to make up for their crimes.

What do you think? Should offenders get their voting rights back automatically or should they have to jump through hoops to do it?

Šistockphoto.com

by on Nov. 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
easinpc
by Emily on Nov. 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM

I am torn on this issue.  Part of me feels that since they broke the law, voting is a right that they shouldn't have anymore, but another part of me says that if they repaid their debt to society they should be able to earn the right to do so again.  The process they have to go thru to regain the right to vote may be a little extreme though.  I think something more along the lines of having to sit thru a class or something may be a little more appropriate.

meam4444
by Representative on Nov. 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I think it is fair for them to do all the necessary paperwork.  If they want to vote, they will do it.  I guess I don't see it as jumping through hoops.  Now, if paperwork keeps getting lost, and one has to keep filling out the same form five times..yes, I consider that jumping through hoops.

Rachel0610
by Rachel on Nov. 7, 2012 at 11:42 PM

My other half is a convicted felon and had to fill out all kinds of paper work to get his right ot vote back him and I both feel that this was fair

Redwall
by Member on Nov. 8, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I think once you've served your "debt to society" you should be entitled to vote....

FrogSalad
by Member on Nov. 9, 2012 at 5:33 PM


Quoting Redwall:

I think once you've served your "debt to society" you should be entitled to vote....



Atheist Mama?  Join us!

How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children.  Charles Darwin

celestegood
by Representative on Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I actually feel similar to you.

Quoting easinpc:

I am torn on this issue.  Part of me feels that since they broke the law, voting is a right that they shouldn't have anymore, but another part of me says that if they repaid their debt to society they should be able to earn the right to do so again.  The process they have to go thru to regain the right to vote may be a little extreme though.  I think something more along the lines of having to sit thru a class or something may be a little more appropriate.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
celestegood
by Representative on Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:31 PM
I agree, but the process noted here is a bit extreme.

Quoting Redwall:

I think once you've served your "debt to society" you should be entitled to vote....

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
celestegood
by Representative on Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Don't you feel that he should be able to vote automatically?

Quoting Rachel0610:

My other half is a convicted felon and had to fill out all kinds of paper work to get his right ot vote back him and I both feel that this was fair

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Rachel0610
by Rachel on Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:38 PM

No he broke a law and gave up that right when he did so even though it was something not as dramatic as most things that cause these things but we have talked about it and think it was only fair that he had to fill out all the paper work

Quoting celestegood:

Don't you feel that he should be able to vote automatically?

Quoting Rachel0610:

My other half is a convicted felon and had to fill out all kinds of paper work to get his right ot vote back him and I both feel that this was fair


Redwall
by Member on Nov. 10, 2012 at 7:29 PM

I think once you're served your time and are out of prison, you should have the right to vote.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN