Secretary Pate applauds Governor, provides update on felon database
Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319
Iowa Secretary of State Seal WEBSITE:
Kevin Hall
Communications Director
(515) 725-2942
March, 14 2019

MEDIA RELEASE: Secretary Pate applauds Governor, provides update on felon database

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate applauds Governor Reynolds for streamlining the process for felons seeking to have their voting rights restored. This week, the Governor’s Office unveiled a new application that is simpler and easier to understand.

“The process of having your voting rights restored by the Governor is not complicated,” Secretary Pate said. “I encourage felons who want to vote to look at the process and take the necessary steps.”

The updated form is available here. An FAQ from the Governor’s Office on restoration of rights is available here.

If a felon’s voting rights were restored in another state, they are eligible to vote in Iowa. The top line of every official State of Iowa voter registration form clearly states that you are not qualified to vote if you have been convicted of a felony and have not received a restoration of voting rights.

By signing the form, the registrant swears they have not been convicted of a felony, or they have had their rights restored. There is also a warning on the form for the consequences of providing false information. The responsibility is on the felon while the current law stays in place.

“The State Court Administrator informed the Secretary of State’s Office they have taken action to ensure accurate information is provided to us for the felon database, and we have implemented additional checks to our processes to ensure this is happening,” said Deputy Secretary of State Christy Wilson. “As a best practice we recommend that county auditors confirm a felony conviction with the proper clerk of court prior to canceling a voter’s registration. We will continue to work with the courts, all 99 counties and the Governor’s Office on this constantly evolving data.”

An official State of Iowa voter registration form is available here. Iowans can also register to vote online by clicking here.