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Iowa Senate panel advance felon voting restrictions bill

A bill is making its way through the Iowa legislative process that may place harsher restrictions on the voting rights of felons.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Senate committee has advanced a bill that would require convicted felons to pay restitution before they could get their voting rights restored. 

If passed this year, the bill advanced Wednesday would be effective only if a separate constitutional amendment that would automatically restore felon voting rights upon completion of a sentence also passes. 

It's unclear if the restitution requirement would withstand a legal challenge, though. A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled against a similar Florida requirement. Iowa is the only state with a broad revocation of voting rights for felons, requiring restoration of voting rights from the governor.