Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack said Friday he will sign an executive order on Independence Day restoring voting rights to thousands of felons who have completed prison, parole and probation terms.
The order will mean automatic voting rights restoration for "disqualified electors'' who finished their time in prison, on probation or on parole as of July 4. The order also creates a streamlined process for offenders released from state custody or supervision in the future.
This is a terrific victory.
Some Iowa Republicans are of course, against voting. "Are we going to let baby rapers and meth producers vote?'' said Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, chairman of the House Public Safety Committee. "I would guess this will be a major election issue in 2006."
(Doesn't it feel like the pararaph after that last one should read...And then he snickered his little republican snicker--and rubbing his hands together in anticipation muttered to an aide, "It won't be long now before we pass that democrat disenfranchisement act... Ha! Once we criminalize all non-republican voting we can finally gorge ourselves at the public trough, eliminate our own taxes and make the poor our slaves!")