Voting Rights Restored

Iowans who have completed felony sentences may now be eligible to vote!

On August 5th, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds signed Executive Order Number Seven (EO7)

Additionally, and pursuant to EO7, Governor Reynolds has issued restorations of voting rights daily for those who have completed their sentences since August 5, 2020, and she will continue to do so for those who complete their sentences in the future.

Register to VoteCan I Vote?Learn More About EO7

THE PROCESS

1. Have my rights been restored?

2. If so, register to vote.

3. Vote!

Register to Vote

In Iowa, an individual’s voter registration is cancelled if they are convicted of a felony. However, upon completion of their sentence, which includes all terms of confinement, parole, probation or other supervised release (including a special sentence under Iowa Code Chapter 903B), Executive Order 7 serves as a restoration of voting rights. Executive Order 7 specifies that Governor Kim Reynolds will restore the rights of citizenship daily for individuals who have completed their felony sentences.

Exception: Individuals convicted of a Chapter 707 crime will need to apply to the Governor for restoration.

I have a felony conviction. Have my rights been restored?

Take this quick survey to determine if you can register to vote:

Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

Were you convicted of a homicide crime?

Did you complete your sentence on or before July 4, 2005?


Your right to vote was restored by Executive Order 42. You are eligible to vote! Click HERE to learn more.

Have you received a previous restoration of rights from the Governor?


Your rights were restored via your previous restoration. You are eligible to vote! Click HERE to learn more.


No. You need to apply for restoration.


You should contact the Governor's Office to determine if you need to apply for restoration.


STOP! Before you can proceed, you need to determine when you discharged your sentence. If your conviction was in Iowa District Court, you can contact the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Have you completed all terms of confinement, parole, probation, or other supervised release for all felony convictions, and completion of any special sentence imposed pursuant to Chapter 903B?


You are eligible to vote! Click HERE to learn more.


You will not be eligible to vote until you discharge your sentence.


STOP! Before you can proceed, you need to determine if you have discharged your sentence. If your conviction was in Iowa District Court, you can contact the Iowa Department of Corrections by calling the Main number listed at the bottom of their home page.


STOP! Before you can proceed, you need to determine if you've ever been convicted of a homicide crime. If your conviction was in the Iowa District Court, you can look yourself up on Iowa Courts Online.
You are eligible to vote! Click HERE to learn more.
An individual who was given a deferred judgment for a felony and who is on probation or has successfully discharged probation has not lost the right to vote. Click HERE to learn more.
STOP! Before you can proceed, you need to determine if you’ve ever been convicted of a felony. If your conviction was in the Iowa District Court, you can look yourself up on Iowa Courts Online. If you were convicted of a felony in federal court or the court of another state, you will need to contact the Clerk of Court for that jurisdiction. Iowa Clerks of Court do not have information about convictions in other states or in federal court, so they cannot assist with those questions.

Apply for Restoration of Voting Rights

If you were convicted of a violation of Chapter 707 of the Iowa Code, which includes murder, manslaughter, and related crimes, you are still eligible to have your voting rights restored. You will need to submit an application to start this process.

Click here to download an Application for Restoration of Voting Rights.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who do I contact if I have questions about my criminal history?

If you are not sure if you have a felony conviction in the State of Iowa, you can start by looking yourself up in Iowa Courts Online. Click on “Trial Court Case Search.” Then enter your name and select “DEFENDANT” from the dropdown menu under “Role.” You may enter other information in the other fields and dropdown menus to narrow your search, but you are not required to do so. Click “I’m not a robot” and perform the requested task. Finally, click on “Search” to display a list of cases that match your search terms. Click on any listed “Case ID” to display details about that case. If you have questions regarding your search results, you can contact the Clerk of Court in the county where you were convicted. The Clerk of Court cannot answer questions regarding your eligibility to register to vote.

If you are not sure when you discharged your felony sentence, you can contact the Iowa Department of Corrections by calling the Main number listed at the bottom of their home page.

If you have questions regarding the applicability of Executive Order Number 7, you can call the Governor’s Office at 515-281-5211 or click here to visit their website.

Once you have determined that your right to vote has been restored, you can contact the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office with questions on how to register to vote or other general elections questions.

2. Who loses their voting rights after a criminal conviction?

Not all individuals who face criminal charges actually lose their right to vote. Individuals lose their rights when convicted of a felony criminal offense. Two common examples of those who do not lose their rights are:

  • An individual convicted of an aggravated, serious, or simple misdemeanor never lose their right to vote because their conviction was not classified as a felony conviction.
  • Deferred Judgments. An individual who was given a deferred judgment for a felony and who is on probation or has successfully discharged probation has not lost the right to vote.

3. Who is covered by Executive Order 7?

Executive Order 7 restores the rights of citizenship to any person convicted of a felony, except for a violation of Chapter 707 of the Iowa Code (“Homicide and Related Crimes”), and who has discharged his or her sentence on or before August 5, 2020.

  • “Discharge of sentence” means completion of any term of confinement, parole, probation, or other supervised release for all felony convictions, and completion of any special sentence imposed pursuant to Chapter 903B.
  • Non-Iowa Convictions. Executive Order 7 applies to felony convictions in any jurisdiction, including felony convictions in federal court or the court of another state, to the extent that the conviction resulted in a loss of citizenship rights in Iowa.
  • Click here to view Executive Order 7, which serves as evidence of restoration of citizenship rights for those individuals.
  • Restoration of voting rights under Executive Order 7 does not include firearms restoration. Any individual seeking a pardon or to have firearm rights restored must submit a separate application to the Iowa Board of Parole, which can be downloaded here.

4. What if a person completes their sentence after August 5, 2020?

On a daily basis since August 5, 2020, the Governor has restored the rights of citizenship—including eligibility to vote—to any person convicted of a felony, except for a violation of Chapter 707 of the Iowa Code (“Homicide and Related Crimes”), and who has discharged his or her sentence. The Governor will continue to do so for those who complete their sentences in the future. The restoration of rights is effective immediately upon discharge of sentence without any further action required. The certificate of restoration of citizenship, issued daily, serves as evidence of restoration of citizenship rights for those individuals. While it should not ordinarily be needed, any daily certificate is available from the Office of the Governor. An example daily certificate for August 6, 2020, is available here. If you have questions, call the Governor’s Office at (515) 281-5211.

5. Who is still required to apply for restoration of voting rights?

Executive Order 7 does not restore citizenship rights to those convicted of felony violations of Chapter 707 of the Iowa Code (“Homicide and Related Crimes”). Those individuals may continue to apply for restoration of voting rights once the person has discharged probation or parole.  The applicant must have completed repayment of court costs, restitution, and fines or must be current on a payment plan.

Click here to download an Application for Restoration of Voting Rights.

6. How do I know if I am eligible to vote?

Complete our quick survey above to determine if you are eligible to register to vote after discharging your felony sentence.

7. Are misdemeanors covered under Executive Order 7?

An individual convicted of an aggravated, serious, or simple misdemeanor never lost their right to vote because their conviction was not classified as a felony conviction.

8. What if my felony conviction was in another state or at the federal level?

Executive Order 7 applies to felony convictions in any jurisdiction, including felony convictions in federal court or the court of another state, to the extent that the conviction resulted in a loss of citizenship rights in Iowa. County clerks of court do not have information about convictions in other states or in federal court, so they cannot assist with those questions.

9. What about pending felony charges?

Pending felony criminal charges do not make an individual ineligible to vote. The right to vote is only lost upon a conviction of a felony.

10. Do I need to pay fines, fees, or restitution in order to vote?

No, you do not have to have paid in full or be on a payment plan to pay off fines, fees or restitution. Your obligation to pay those hasn’t gone away; those debts simply are no longer tied to your ability to vote.

Resources

Who do I contact?

Online voter registration tutorial

Registering to vote after a felony conviction

Tool Kit for Organizations

Registering to vote in Iowa

Governor’s press release about EO7

Paul D. Pate

Iowa Secretary of State

Service · Participation · Integrity

Office of the Iowa Secretary of State
State Capitol · Des Moines, IA 50319
515.281.6230