Senate GOP failed to support bipartisan effort to restore voting rights

Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen
August 5, 2020

“With the General Election less than 100 days away and in the absence of leadership by Senate Republicans, an executive order was the best way to give a second chance to many Iowans who lost their voting rights when they went to prison.

“However, this is a temporary solution. A permanent solution was blocked by Senate Republicans, who failed to amend the Iowa Constitution to allow more Iowans to vote. Sen. Brad Zaun, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, waited until the 11th hour of the 2020 session to finally get it through the Judiciary Committee but there was no effort to bring it to a vote by the full Senate.

“Like most Iowans, we cheered last year when the Iowa House – on a 95-2 vote – approved a key, bipartisan priority: restoring voting rights of felons. We agreed with the Governor when she said the bipartisan vote in the Iowa House was ‘a victory for Iowans who deserve a second chance.’

“There’s no excuse for Senator Zaun and Senate Republicans dropping the ball on this.”