The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the state's longstanding policy of barring felons from voting unless their rights are restored by the governor.
The court ruled Thursday that felonies result in disenfranchisement under the Iowa Constitution, which bars voting by those convicted of "infamous crimes."
The American Civil Liberties Union argued that only a small number of crimes that are an "affront to democratic governance" triggered the loss of voting rights.
The ACLU had hoped to use the case to restore thousands of former offenders to election rolls and to erase Iowa's status as one of the harshest toward felons' voting rights.
Iowa, Florida and Kentucky are the only states with lifetime voting bans for felons unless their rights are restored by the governor.
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