Civil Rights Organizations to IA Governor Reynolds: Restore the Voting Rights of Formerly Incarcerated Iowans Immediately - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Civil Rights Organizations to IA Governor Reynolds: Restore the Voting Rights of Formerly Incarcerated Iowans Immediately

Quad Cities Interfaith & Advancement Project National Office Demand Action to Ensure All Voters Can Safely Participate in IA Elections

CONTACT
Amber Bordolo, [email protected]
Jeralyn Cave, [email protected]

DES MOINES, Iowa – Today, Quad Cities Interfaith, EXPO (EX-Incarcerated People Organizing) QC, and Advancement Project National Office delivered a letter to Iowa Governor Kimberly Reynolds requesting the immediate restoration of voting rights for people convicted of felonies as soon as they leave prison or begin probation, parole, or other community supervision. The letter asks the Governor to do so by signing an executive order automatically restoring voting rights to those with prior felony convictions and supporting an amendment to the Iowa constitution automatically restoring voting rights. Iowa remains the only state in the nation to permanently disenfranchise people with felony convictions. The state disproportionately disenfranchises Black residents excluding nearly 1 in 10 Black Iowans.

“We at Quad Cities Interfaith and Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing QC (EXPO QC) believe in the power of restoration and societal reintegration after individuals have served their sentence.  The basic right to vote has been eliminated for many Iowans because of the back and forth nature of administrations on whether to restore permanently the right to vote or continue to deny the citizens of Iowa that basic right,” said Dwayne Hodges, Executive Director of EXPO QC. “We hope the Governor will sign an executive order to restore voting rights to all Iowans with felonies in the state. We hope she will make this a blanket restoration without any stipulations that will exclude many that want to exercise this basic right as a U.S. Citizen and resident of Iowa. This is a long time coming and we hope that Governor Reynolds signs the executive order immediately to allow those disenfranchised people the right to hold their head up during this election year and for many years to come.”

The joint letter requests the Governor’s executive order restore voting rights regardless of a voter’s offense or outstanding Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) including fines, fees restitution and court costs.

“Felony disenfranchisement is a legacy of Jim Crow and other racist policies designed to prevent Black people from building political power,” Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. “Ahead of elections that will determine the direction of the state and the nation, Governor Reynolds should restore the voting rights of those who have been disenfranchised at the hands of white supremacy.”

Read the full advocacy letter here: Iowa Rights Restoration Letter.

###

Quad Cities Interfaith (QCI) is a non-profit organization of 29+ congregations and community groups whose purpose is to build local leadership and address community issues in the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa. QCI strives to improve the quality of life in our region by developing community leadership in congregations and other institutions, so as to bring our values into public dialogue, and work together to speak with a strong, unified voice in the decisions that affect our lives. Visit www.qcinterfaith.org

Advancement Project National Office is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. Visit www.advancementproject.org

EXPO (EX-Incarcerated People Organizing) works to end mass incarceration, eliminate all forms of structural discrimination against formerly incarcerated people, and restore formerly incarcerated people to full participation in the life of our communities.

 

KEEP READING

We sued to extend Virginia’s voter registration deadline. Now voters must use it!

The 2020 election will be one of the most important elections of our lifetime, and it is important that every Virginia voter who wants to cast a ballot register by 11:59 pm tonight, October 15.

Read More
Voting Rights Organizations Celebrate Legal Victory Extending Virginia Voter Registration Deadline Through October 15

A U.S. District Court ruled that Virginia must extend the voter registration deadline to Thursday, October 15 to remedy the harm caused to voters when the state’s voting systems went down on the final day of voter registration.

Read More
Voting Rights Organizations File Lawsuit to Extend Virginia’s Voter Registration After Statewide Voting System Failure

ALEXANDRIA, Va.– Tonight, a coalition of voting rights groups filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the Virginia Department of Elections and the Virginia State Board of Elections to extend Virginia’s voter registration deadline after the Commonwealth’s voting systems went down earlier today, the last day that Virginians can register to vote. The lawsuit was filed this evening by Virginia Civic Engagement Table, New Virginia Majority, League of Women Voters of Virginia, Advancement Project National Office, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The groups are seeking to extend the…

Read More
Voting Rights Organizations Resolve to Protect Florida Voters as State Continues History of Voter Suppression

On Friday, October 9, a coalition of voting rights organizations reacted to a court’s decision not to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline after the state’s online registration system crashed on Monday.

Read More
New Research Indicates Racial Justice is Top Factor Motivating Young Voters of Color

National poll reveals structural inequality, police brutality and coronavirus pandemic are at top of minds for young voters of color heading to the polls WASHINGTON— Young voters of color say they are headed to the polls in November because they want to see change around systemic inequality and racism, according to a series of focus groups and findings from a recent poll released today by Advancement Project National Office. The data was collected as a part of the organization’s Young Voters of Color Get Out the Vote Campaign. The campaign, which launches today, aims to motivate and mobilize young people of…

Read More
Voting Rights Organizations File Lawsuit in Florida to Extend Voter Registration Deadline as Online Voter Registration System Crashes

A coalition of voting rights groups filed a lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee to extend the voter registration deadline after the state's online registration system crashed.

Read More
Advancement Project National Office joins Oprah Winfrey, NAACP for OWN Your Vote National Town Hall

Advancement Project National Office will today join Oprah Winfrey in discussion of her new initiative, OWN Your Vote, along with the NAACP and other leaders in the fight for voting rights. The OWN Your Vote initiative is focused specifically on mobilizing Black women to vote. What: OWN Your Vote: Our Lives Depend On It is a virtual conversation aimed to inspire and equip thousands of voters and community leaders with specific steps they can take to register to vote, request their absentee ballots, and mobilize voters throughout their community. Who: The conversation will include remarks from: Judith Browne Dianis,…

Read More
Election 2020: How to Vote State Primers

As a part of our efforts to ensure voters, especially voters of color, have the tools they need to vote safely this year, Advancement Project National Office has developed state primers that provide critical information on how to vote.

Read More
Women Did That! 100 Years of the 19th Amendment

One hundred years ago today, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote was ratified. Women’s suffrage was a century-long fight achieved through protest, advocacy and the legendary work of trailblazing women of color including Sojourner Truth, Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells. These women organized to combat racist policies, elect people of color to public office and create community institutions that provided mutual aid to their communities. Today, the nation cannot deny that women of color are a “…

Read More
Racial Justice Organization Issues Statement on Florida’s Amendment 4 Hearing

Advancement Project National Office issued a statement on Florida's Amendment 4 hearing. "No Floridian should have to choose between participating in democracy and food for their families, housing, childcare or transportation to work."

Read More