Report: Iowa to cut ties with talented star

It’s time for Iowa to abandon its claim to be treated as a second-class citizen.

From the time she began voting at the age of 20, Kari Bassett has never missed one. However, she came close to missing her chance this year. Bassett was inspired to verify her registration status after learning that a friend in St. Louis had been removed from the voter registers. “I took all the proper actions. I had checked “update voter registration” on my change of address form and on my new driver’s license with my updated address because I had relocated after the last election. In a year with highly anticipated school board elections, Bassett would not have been eligible to vote if she hadn’t checked and missed the short time to re-register. “My family cast their ballots; I recall walking to the booths with the curtains with my mother. It is

In Iowa, there are about 1.5 million registered voters, including Bassett. This number has significantly decreased in Iowa after SF 413 was passed. Seventy-four thousand Iowans were unemployed in February 2021—a few weeks before Governor Kim Reynolds signed the measure. 280,000 voters were declared inactive in February 2023, two years later, mostly as a result of having missed one election.

Among the several attempts to stifle voting in Iowa are these preliminary measures toward a final purge. For many years, Joe Henry of the League of United Latin American Citizens has been active in voter rights organization and advocacy. “I was raised by a single mother in a working-class, impoverished home. My mother reads the newspaper every day. Being the first person to attend college, I thought it was crucial to remain dedicated to the social justice movement. After outlining his reasons for being an ardent supporter of voting rights, Henry denounced measures taken in Iowa to stifle voting, including “restriction on early voting [and] reduction of hours to vote on Election Day.”

These attempts to reduce voting participation and attempts to repair the damage have received extensive media attention. However, the restoration of voting rights is another civil rights issue that has not received enough attention.

Iowa’s record on this issue has been mixed. With the issuance of Executive Order 42 in 2005, Governor Tom Vilsack allowed nearly 100,000 Iowans to resume their ability to vote, erasing Iowa’s distinction as the only state where residents were permanently denied the right to vote. Governor Terry Branstad revoked this directive six years later. The 2020 proposed constitutional amendment to reinstate voting rights was not approved, but the measure that was linked to it—which would have made HJR14’s progress more severe—was approved by both chambers and signed by Reynolds. August 5, 2020

Although we appreciate the effort, it is insufficient. It’s time for Iowa to pass laws to put an end to this terrible struggle for fundamental civil rights.

The Marshall Project revealed that 5,000 previously jailed Iowans had re-registered to vote a year after the reinstatement. Given how difficult it is to get correct data these days, it appears that the report’s assessment—that data that would track efforts was “poorly maintained”—has not altered.


The Sentencing Project study went on to highlight that, in contrast to 1.5% of Iowans overall, 11.4% of Black Iowans and 3.8% of Latiné Iowans were denied the right to vote. As of 2022, an updated research reveals that this discrepancy still affects Black Iowans.

Regarding the differences in incarceration rates between races, Iowa ranks as the sixth worst state. In Iowa, the likelihood of incarceration for Black and Native American populations is nine and thirteen times higher, respectively, than for White ones. Due to a paucity of data gathered from encounters that do not end in an arrest or ticket, disparities regarding possible racial profiling and pretextual stops are more difficult to identify.

Voter suppression developed as a reaction to the 15th Amendment’s ratification. There have been legal attempts to deny Black Americans the right to vote via the use of poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests, and outright violence. The wicked game is still the same, even though the rules have altered.

In addition to the fact that voting ought to be seen as a civic right and is one, there are

However, considering the obstacles put up both during and after incarceration, Iowa has not gone far enough in facilitating access to the civic responsibility of voting and the rewards that follow.

The high costs of medical copays, which are frequently acquired as a result of diseases brought on by incarceration, excessive money transfer fees of up to 32%, and expenses for phone calls and electronic communications are already passed on to prisoners. After being freed, there are many challenges in the way of starting again outside of prison. Priorities include spending time with loved ones, locating a place to live and work, and other matters. However, the restore your vote website shouldn’t have any more glitches, unclear instructions, or missing links when it comes to voting.

Henry discussed general voting-related solutions. We tend to forget that doing the right thing doesn’t require waiting for the law to change. When translated materials are not accessible, we might use the example of the civil rights struggle to educate the public and employ individuals to talk with voters.

If Iowa values democracy, then all Iowans should be able to vote with greater ease. At the very least, boost engagement and registration rates and make initiative data more accessible.

Two days remain until election day, so make sure you have a strategy and your ID ready.


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