Legislation would allow the imprisoned to vote
Oct 31, 2019 3:00 pm
Kayla Harris is reporting for the Times Union a bill proposed in the state Legislature October 30, would give those incarcerated by the state of New York the right to vote. State Sen. Kevin Parker, Democrat of Brooklyn, introduced the legislation. The measure quickly met with backlash from Republican state lawmakers, who say people who have violated the law do not deserve a voice in the society they have wronged. The issue is also a contentious one within the Democratic party. When the idea was floated earlier this year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was against it. “You are in prison for a felony, you're paying your debt to society — I don't think you should have the right to vote and participate as a full citizen,” he said in an April interview with CNN. The bill memorandum argues that giving incarcerated people the right to vote would help black and Latino communities. “Preventing those with felony convictions from voting is a maneuver to disempower black voters,” the bill memorandum states. “If an incarcerated individual can be counted as a whole person in the census, then why can't their vote be counted in an election?” Under the measure, an incarcerated person would be considered a resident of the county and town they lived in before they were imprisoned. Only Vermont and Maine give the incarcerated the right to vote. Read the full story in the Times Union.