Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed Wednesday an executive order restoring voting rights to some Iowans with felony records, the Des Moines Register reports.

Why it matters: It had been the last state in the country to bar all felons from voting, unless they applied for a special exception from the governor's office.

  • The new order grants the right to vote to felons who have completed their prison sentence, parole and probation — but it excludes individuals charged with certain serious crimes, including murder or sexual abuse.
  • It will restore voting rights to approximately 60,000 Iowans, including 1 in 10 Black adults.
  • Any required restitution will not need to be paid back in total in order for an individual to regain their voting rights.

Between the lines: Shifting laws on felon voting rights isn't a quick process, but officials will have just three months to make the change before the 2020 elections.

What to watch: Reynolds is calling for an amendment to Iowa's constitution in order to permanently enact the change.

Go deeper

Court blocks Trump's move to exclude undocumented immigrants from census

President Trump on Sept. 10. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

A three-judge federal court in New York on Thursday blocked the Trump administration's push to exclude undocumented immigrants from influencing congressional apportionment as determined by the 2020 Census.

Why it matters: Removing unauthorized immigrants from the census this year would cause California, Texas and Florida to lose at least one House seat they otherwise would have been awarded based on respective population increases, the Pew Research Center found this summer.

How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

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