Letter to the Editor

Felon voting

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Whether or not felons in Iowa who have completed their prison sentences get their right to vote restored is a current issue in the Iowa Legislature. One sticking point is the matter of restitution and fines that may be outstanding at the time the felon is released. I saw recently that a 60-year-old felon has served his time, however, he has $150,000 in restitution to pay. The way he figures, at the rate of $100 per month paid to the state of Iowa, he'll never be able to vote, under the present law or statute.

I can empathize with the man. He isn't demanding his rights. He's served time on probation, also. He's paid certain expenses, plus $15,000 in attorney fees (of course). He is employed by a company that allows offenders a second chance. He's held that job for five years.

The point of this is that here's a guy who is making a good faith effort to do the right thing. Why not allow him to vote, as long as he keeps reducing the rest of his debt to society? I'm not sure how many felons there are out there who are doing as well as he seems to be doing. Those that are should have their efforts recognized. If the person wants to vote, and keeps his end of the bargain, I'd be for allowing him to vote again. How about you?

Bill Kersting, Spencer