The trial of an ex-felon charged with illegally voting is expected to showcase Iowa’s unusually harsh policies toward voting rights for former offenders.
Jury selection has started Wednesday in Keokuk at the trial for 40-year-old Kelli Jo Griffin.
Prosecutors say Griffin falsely claimed on a voter registration form in November that she was not an ineligible felon before voting in a low turnout, uncontested municipal election in Montrose, population 878. They say she’d been disenfranchised by a felony drug conviction, and Gov. Terry Branstad hadn’t restored her rights.
Iowa is one of four states in which former offenders must apply to the governor to regain voting rights. A two-year investigation into election misconduct has resulted in several ex-Iowa felons being charged, but Griffin would be the first to have trial.