Get Out of Jail Free Days

A few fun facts on the lighter side for once.

A brief perusing of the Iowa Constitution reveals that our State has get out of jail free days plainly stated in the text of our Constitution.

Article 2 Section 2 of the Iowa Constitution states: "Electors shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest on the days of election, during their attendance of such election, going to and returning therefrom." "Elector" means person who may vote.

Article 3 Section 11 states: "Senators and Representatives, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly and going to and returning from the same."

The purpose of these constitutional provisions should be fairly clear, to avoid undue and unwarranted harassment against the general voting public on election day and against members of the House and Senate while they are in session. It is a constitutional assurance that our political process will go on uninterrupted but for the commission of most serious crimes. However, it would be an interesting situation if an individual were arrested for a misdemeanor such as Possession of Marijuana or other controlled substance or operating while intoxicated either on the way to or from voting. According to the Constitution, the arrest would be illegal. Taking it one step further, a citation has been equated to an arrest by the Iowa Supreme Court in certain circumstances, thus an argument could be made that we cannot be given speeding tickets in our rush to vote or return from voting nor can members of the House of Senate receive citations on the way to or from general assembly sessions.