Bill S3599-2011

Relates to allowing parolees the right to register for and vote at any election

Relates to allowing parolees the right to register for and vote at any election.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • Feb 28, 2011: REFERRED TO ELECTIONS

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BILL NUMBER:S3599

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to allowing parolees the right to register for and vote at any election

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To allow parollees the right to vote and register for elections.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. Subdivision 2, 3, and 4 of section 5-106 of the election law, subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 373 of the laws of 1978 are amended. The amendments give an individual on parole the right to vote and register for elections.

JUSTIFICATION: The Brennan Center for Justice released a report titled, "Jim Crow in New York," which traced the history of New York's felony disenfranchisement law and revealed that its roots are firmly planted in some of the most discriminatory voting barriers to exist in our country. The report clarifies that Jim Crow laws were not confined to the South. In fact, during the 18th century, New York's election laws clearly followed the national narrative. New York's criminal disenfranchisement provisions followed a concerted effort to exclude African Americans from participating in the political process.

Today, the voting bar in our State's constitution is nearly identical to the one enacted 140 years ago. And these discriminatory laws continue to have their intended effect, with African-Americans and Latinos representing 80 percent of those currently disenfranchised in New York. This bill would remove this shameful barrier from a by-gone era by restoring the right to vote and register for elections to persons on parole. with this measure, New York will begin the process of removing the discriminatory voting barriers established during the Jim Crow era.

Voting is a right of American citizenship and should not be subject to governmental caprice. When persons are released on parole they become members of our communities. By removing their ability to vote, we prevent these persons from having a say in who represents them in local, state and federal offices. This legislation would correct this injustice by restoring their constitutional right to vote.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: A.10217/S.7546 - Held in Elections

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3599 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 28, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ADAMS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to allowing parolees the right to register for and vote at any election THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 2, 3 and 4 of section 5-106 of the election law, subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 373 of the laws of 1978, are amended to read as follows: 2. No person who has been convicted of a felony pursuant to the laws of this state, shall have the right to register for or vote at any election unless he OR SHE shall have been pardoned or restored to the rights of citizenship by the governor, or his OR HER maximum sentence of imprisonment has expired[, or he has been discharged from parole]. The governor, however, may attach as a condition to any such pardon a provision that any such person shall not have the right of suffrage until it shall have been separately restored to him OR HER. 3. No person who has been convicted in a federal court, of a felony, or a crime or offense which would constitute a felony under the laws of this state, shall have the right to register for or vote at any election unless he OR SHE shall have been pardoned or restored to the rights of citizenship by the president of the United States, or his OR HER maximum sentence of imprisonment has expired[, or he has been discharged from parole]. 4. No person who has been convicted in another state for a crime or offense which would constitute a felony under the laws of this state shall have the right to register for or vote at any election in this state unless he OR SHE shall have been pardoned or restored to the rights of citizenship by the governor or other appropriate authority of such other state, or his OR HER maximum sentence has expired[, or he has been discharged from parole]. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.

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