NEW YORK — The voting rights of tens of thousands of disenfranchised parolees were restored under an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday.
New York will be one of just 14 states that allow people to vote after they’ve served time in prison. Cuomo noted that 75 percent of parolees in the state are black or Latino and voting restrictions disproportionately impact African American and Hispanic communities.
“It is unconscionable to deny voting rights to New Yorkers who have paid their debt and have re-entered society,” Cuomo said. “This reform will reduce disenfranchisement and will help restore justice and fairness to our democratic process. Withholding or delaying voting rights diminishes our democracy.”
A similar effort is underway in New Jersey where lawmakers are working to give prisoners, people on probation and individuals on parole the right to vote. Maine and Vermont already allow people to vote from prison.