DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -

Leaders of the NAACP are lobbying Gov. Terry Branstad to soften a policy that has made it difficult for thousands of Iowans convicted of crimes to get back their voting rights.

The Des Moines Register reports that NAACP officials who met with Branstad on Monday said they focused much of the meeting on trying to persuade Branstad to change a cumbersome application process. They say the process has resulted in fewer than 20 felons getting back their voting rights since January 2011.

Branstad's office has told applicants on the application form that they must pay all court costs and restitution before applying. But spokesman Tim Albrecht said Monday the office will allow felons who are current on restitution payments to seek their rights back.