This November will mark the first opportunity for many Kirkwood Community College students to vote in a presidential election. The long lines and the anticipation of election night is a little over a month away. On Nov. 3, many felons in Iowa will be joining in at the polls, too.
The patriotic act of voting is something that students at Kirkwood aren’t taken for granted. Student Jose Juarez said he believes, “It’s our job to fight for something good.”
Not all adults have had the right to vote but on Aug. 5, Governor Kim Reynolds signed Executive Order 7. This executive order has given felons in the state the right to vote once again.
According to Executive Order 7, felons who have completed their sentences can vote. This doesn’t include felons who were found guilty of homicide.
Gov. Reynolds has been working on an amendment to make the change permanent. However, getting it approved could take years. The Senate turned down her amendment in June.
In Iowa, one must be a U.S. citizen, state resident, and 18 years old to register to vote. This includes many Kirkwood students. Those who are not already registered can logon to https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/voterregistration.html to complete online registration.
The Iowa Secretary of State website also lets residents look up registration and helps locate polling places.
Students can also use Vote.org for additional voting information. The website helps people register to vote, vote through the mail, and find polling places. For those prefer to register face-to-face, registration is allowed on Election Day.
The presidential election is closing in on American citizens. Regardless of one’s political affiliation, students should consider taking the time to vote. With the restoration of voting rights for some felons, there are new voices joining the conversation.
In the words of Kirkwood student Mallorie Gronemeyer, “People complain too much but don’t take the initiative to change what’s happening.”
Casey is a poet with aspirations of becoming a journalist. You can find her reading or watching true crime documentaries.