Voting Eligibility for Previous Felony Convictions

Sentence Discharged On or Before July 4, 2005


Any individual that was convicted of a felon and who had completely discharged his or her criminal sentence for that felony, including any accompanying term of probation, parole or supervised release on or before July 4, 2005, is eligible to register and vote because of Executive Order 42.

No further analysis of these cases is needed. Any provisional ballot cast by such an individual should be counted and the county auditor and Secretary of State’s Office should be notified so the felon file can be updated accordingly.

Sentence Discharged July 5, 2005 - January 13, 2011


Any individual that was convicted of a felony and who had completely discharged his or her criminal sentence for that felony, including any accompanying term of probation, parole or supervised release between July 5, 2005 and January 13, 2011, was eligible for automated restoration of rights by the Governor’s office under the process outlined by Executive Order 42.

A certificate of restoration was not issued for all offenders that became eligible for restoration during this period of time. The individual must have been issued a certificate of restoration in order to vote. After determining that an individual was eligible for restoration during this period of time, the Governor’s office or Secretary of State’s office should be contacted and will use the Iowa Criminal Offender’s Network to discern whether a certificate of restoration was issued.


Sentence Discharged January 14, 2011 - Present


Any individual that was convicted of a felony and who had completely discharged his or her criminal sentence for that felony, including any accompanying term of probation, parole or supervised release between January 14, 2011 and the present date is required to file an application for restoration with the Governor’s office and have that application approved before a certificate or restoration is issued.

After determining that an individual has become eligible for restoration during this period of time, the Governor’s office or Secretary of State’s office should be contacted and will confirm whether a restoration or rights certificate has been issued. Until a certificate of restoration is issued, the individual is not eligible to vote. 

Click Here for Step-by Step Instructions from the American Civil Liberties Union