Reynolds. Photo: Saul Loel/AFP via Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said on Tuesday she will issue an executive order before the November elections to restore voting rights for paroled felons in the state, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Iowa has grappled in recent years with its restrictive laws for felon voting access. But recent protests over criminal justice reform have highlighted the lifelong barriers to democracy that some citizens face after finishing their criminal sentences.

  • The Sentencing Project reports that 2.2% of adults in Iowa in 2016 were ineligible to vote due to past convictions, including 9.8% of African Americans in the state overall.

What she's saying: Reynolds stated, "We’re working on that right now, sitting down with various groups, listening to what they think is important, what is contained in that executive order," adding, "and then I’ve got my legal team working on it."

Yes, but: History shows that enacting felon voting reform isn't a quick fix, and the details of Reynolds' proposal are unclear. Reynolds signed a GOP-backed bill earlier this month excluding felons from restoring voting rights who'd committed certain serious crimes, including homicide and sexual offenses.

  • The bill also required felons to pay back restitution before regaining their right to vote, which can take years.
  • It's unknown if these carveouts will persist in Reynolds' executive order.

Go deeper: The sticky web of felon voting laws

Go deeper

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats spent the early months of the coronavirus pandemic urging their base to vote absentee. But as threats of U.S. Postal Service delays, Team Trump litigation and higher ballot rejection rates become clearer, many are pivoting to promote more in-person voting as well.

Why it matters: Democrats are exponentially more likely to vote by mail than Republicans this year — and if enough mail-in ballots are lost, rejected on a technicality or undercounted, it could change the outcome of the presidential election or other key races.

Obama: The rest of us have to live with the consequences of what Trump's done

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Campaigning for Joe Biden at a car rally in Miami on Saturday, Barack Obama railed against President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying "the rest of us have to live with the consequences of what he's done."

Driving the news: With less than two weeks before the election, the Biden campaign is drawing on the former president's popularity with Democrats to drive turnout and motivate voters.

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