Automatic restoration of voting rights for convicted felons has been a major topic of discussion in the legislature for the last two years. It has heated up even more during the Black Lives Matter protests as left-wing, radical demonstrators have decided to make that issue a lynchpin of their activism.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has said she is working on issuing an executive order to grant automatic restoration of voting rights to felons — though details remain to be seen.
The Iowa Standard requested information from the Secretary of State’s office, asking for a breakdown of voter registrations for Iowans who have had their voting rights canceled due to a felony conviction.
The following numbers are the amount of registered voters from each party who had their voting rights canceled due to their felony conviction.
Here is what we were told:
Iowa Green Party: 78
Republican: 4,249 (13.9 percent)
Democrat: 11,332 (37.2 percent)
No Party: 14,681 (48.2 percent)
The Secretary of State’s office estimated there are 70,000-75,000 Iowans who are currently without their voting rights due to felony convictions. It’s possible that there are tens of thousands of convicted felons who were not registered voters at the time of their conviction.
But 30,444 voter registrations certainly provide a solid sample size.
It is important to note that this was party identification at the time of their conviction. Political views could have changed, obviously, since the convictions.
If the numbers would hold out, Republicans would need 10,882 of the No Party registered voters to break even with Democrats. That represents more than 74 percent of the No Party registrants.
There is no doubt that which ever party would be given credit for the automatic restoration would likely benefit, but it’s difficult to imagine the mainstream media would credit Republicans.
Ultimately, these numbers just provide some interesting perspective. Someone’s position on the issue shouldn’t be dictated by which political party would conceivably benefit most from automatic voting rights restoration.