Dec. 13, 2019
Best of the States
AP Exclusive: Iowa felons list bars a police department from voting; omits a drug dealer
Iowa City correspondent Ryan J. Foley has written extensively about problems tracking felons who are ineligible to vote in Iowa, but it had been five years since he’d gotten a copy of the database itself. So when a trusted source produced a state database of 103,000 felons, Foley set to work analyzing the data. He found it riddled with errors, including laughable mistakes – such as the Des Moines Police Department being banned from voting.
The story was used extensively by Iowa newspapers and broadcasters, who were especially interested given that Iowa’s governor is seeking to change the law regarding voting by felons who have completed their sentences.
For detailed research and reporting that produced an engaging story of statewide interest, Foley earns AP’s Best of the States award.