The Felon voting bloc and the Electoral College


The recent move by Governor Tom Vilsack to restore felon voting rights in Iowa will likely have a significant impact on  that state in Presidenial elections.  Iowa is one of the true tossup states. Gore won the state's 7 Electoral College votes by 4,000 in 2000, Bush in 2004 by just over 13,000, in each case by less than 1% of all votes cast.

About 80,00 felons in Iowa [six time Bush's margin] will have restored voting rights (with a disproportionate number of African Americans among them: more than ten times their share of the state's population).

The Democratic/Republican split among the former felons would have tipped the state blue in 2004, even with a modest turnout among the Felon—American community.

Vilsack has ambitions to be on the national ticket in 2008, and was briefly considered for VP by John Kerry in 2004. With Iowa beginning the nominating process wth its Caucuses in 2008, perhaps some of these felon voters wlll return the favor to their favorite son.

Richard Baehr    7 2 05