The following statement can be attributed to Mark Stringer, ACLU of Iowa Executive Director:
“The ACLU of Iowa applauds Gov. Reynolds for proposing automatic restoration of voting rights for the more than 60,000 Iowans convicted of a felony. We have been working for years to end Iowa’s destructive and draconian disenfranchisement laws. Denying Iowans the right to vote does nothing to keep our communities safer or make our democracy stronger. In fact, it does the opposite. It prevents thousands of Iowans from successfully reintegrating into society and becoming active, invested participants in our communities and our state.
“And because of continuing racial disparities in Iowa’s criminal justice system, Black people in Iowa have been disproportionately hurt by this wrong-headed law; an estimated 1 in 4 African-American Iowans are being denied the right to vote because of a felony conviction.
We endorse a constitutional amendment to permanently right this wrong.”