ACLU of Iowa on the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee Passage of a Felony Disenfranchisement Exclusions Bill
The following statement can be attributed to Mark Stringer, ACLU of Iowa Executive Director.
It is regarding SF 2129, a bill that would create exceptions to HJR 14, legislation that we endorse and which would be a step toward ending Iowa’s policy of banning anyone with a felony conviction from voting for life. SF 2129 passed the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee this evening.
“The ACLU of Iowa remains steadfast in our commitment to end lifetime disenfranchisement so that Iowa is not the last and only state in the country to bar a person, for life, from voting after being convicted of a felony. Democracy is strongest when more people can vote, not fewer. We continue to oppose any exclusions to HJR 14.
As studies have shown, stripping people of their voting eligibility after a conviction is destructive and counterproductive. It prevents them from reintegrating into their community and truly engaging in society once again. It’s also important that a person’s eligibility to vote doesn’t have a price tag attached. We don’t want to have a system where a person with more money can vote and a person with less money cannot.
The passage of this bill is only one step in the legislative process. We will continue to urge legislators to make sure that as many people as possible are eligible to vote. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Voters should be able to choose their politicians. Politicians should not be able to choose their voters.”
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