Iowa governor relaxes strict rules on felon voting

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Associated Press

Posted on December 29, 2012 at 10:03 AM

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa felons seeking to regain voting rights will no longer have to submit credit histories or pay off all their full restitution to become eligible.

Gov. Terry Branstad on Friday relaxed rules he enacted last year that had made Iowa one of the hardest states in the nation for ex-felons to regain voting rights.

Iowa will still be one of four states where felons who complete prison and parole terms have to apply to restore their rights to vote and hold office.

Under the changes, applicants have to be current on restitution payments instead of having to satisfy judgments entirely. They also won't have to submit credit histories, which the governor's office had required as a way to check for outstanding court debts. Critics said that step was a deterrent.

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