Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Caves to Black Lives Matter, Grants Felons Voting Rights

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds speaks during an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board Meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 26, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) caved to Black Lives Matter and signed an executive order on Wednesday granting voting rights to those who have served their felony sentences.

“When someone serves their sentence and pays the price our justice system has set for their crime, they should have their right to vote restored automatically, plain and simple,” Reynolds said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Reynolds said her executive order would restore the “voting rights of some felons.” She added that her order requires Iowans to complete their sentences, and they will still require those who committed felony homicide offenses to apply for voting rights restoration individually.

“This is a cause on which so many Iowans have worked on,” she added.

The order will allow thousands of Iowans to vote in the upcoming November elections, which has significant implications for the reelection of President Donald Trump, Sen. Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) reelection, and the swing congressional districts in the state.

The Des Moines Register wrote that Reynolds had resisted calls to sign an executive order granting voting rights to felons.

However, Reynolds reportedly promised to sign an executive order in June after meeting with activists from the Des Moines, Iowa, Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Since that meeting, Black Lives Matter lobbied Reynolds to sign an executive order and allow potential felons to vote less than 90 days ahead of the 2020 elections.

Reynolds has called for a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to felons once they have completed their sentences; however, the majority Republican state Senate blocked her constitutional amendment. Passing an amendment would enshrine the voting rights policy in the state constitution.

Previous governors have taken opposing views on restoring voting rights. Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) signed an executive order restoring felon voting rights in 2005, but Reynolds, predecessor, Gov. Terry Brandstad (R), scrapped the Democrat executive shortly after taking office in 2011.

Aaron Klein, formerly a Breitbart News senior investigative reporter, wrote in 2019 that progressive organizations, financed by George Soros, have worked “overtime” to restore voting rights in many battleground states such as Florida.

Reynolds called her executive order a temporary solution and reiterated her call for a “permanent solution” by passing a constitutional amendment.

“Let me be clear: an executive order is, at best, a temporary solution. It can be changed with a stroke of a pen by the next governor, which is not good enough,” the Iowa Republican said. “Something that is fundamentally right should not be based on benevolence of a single elected official.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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