DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – With dozens of Des Moines Black Lives Matter members shouting “let them vote” and “do your job” outside her office, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday she has plenty of time before the November election to draft and sign an executive order enabling felons to vote in Iowa.
Despite the pressure of advocacy groups and protesters, she declined to give a timeline.
“I’ve got a lot of time before the election,” she said. “I’ve made it clear I will do an executive order and it will be done in a timely manner so people will have an opportunity to participate in this election.”
The delay disappointed BLM organizer Matthew Bruce, who wants quick action so people can register to vote, get needed identification and become educated on poll locations and other details.
“She’s trying to obfuscate. She’s trying to slow down the process,” he said. “We’re not playing no more. Give my family the right to vote.”
Reynolds called last year and this year for lawmakers to begin the process of a constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to felons after they’ve completed their sentences, but Senate Republicans have blocked votes.
Iowa is the only state to automatically revoke voting rights for felons and to require them to individually petition the governor to restore their rights.
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