Cuomo grants voting rights to 35000 parolees in NY state

Cuomo giving parolees right to vote via executive order

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NY state is restoring the voting rights of 35,000 parolees under an executive order from Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"In this state, when you're released from prison and you're on parole, you still don't have the right to vote", the governor said.

Parole voting restrictions disproportionately affect New Yorkers of color, with African-American and Hispanic New Yorkers making up 71 percent of parolees who can not vote, according to the governor. The executive order is available here.

Nixon has a long history as an advocate for a variety of causes, including L.G.B.T.Q. equality, women's rights, and, most notably, improving public schools-which, as Nixon told Colbert, she's championed since the early 2000s.

Cuomo, who has made criminal justice reform a centerpiece of his tenure, is facing a primary challenge from the left from actress Cynthia Nixon.

Cuomo attempted to restore voting rights for parolees through the legislative process. "He says he works with the Republicans", Nixon said of Cuomo, "but frankly, often at times it looks more like he works for the Republicans".

New York Times Headline: "Despite Protests, Cuomo Says He Will Not Extend A Tax Surcharge On Top Earners." . Republicans immediately slammed the move as bad public policy and potentially illegal, since Cuomo chose to circumvent the Legislature.

"They want to take what they believe and impose it on you". New Jersey Democrats are pushing forward legislation on the issue and Florida voters will consider a ballot initiative in November to automatically restore the voting rights of certain felons after they complete their sentences, including probation and parole.

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, however said the state still has 'a lot of work to do before we can call ourselves a paragon of democracy'.

Both suggested Cuomo had political motives for the action.

New York Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan is opposed. "Cuomo's actions are purely political, created to appeal to radical primary voters and bolster his 2020 dream", referring to his supposed presidential ambitions.

Nixon's endorsement from the WFP follows endorsements from the New York Communities for Change, the New York Progressive Action Network, Make the Road Action and the Citizen Action of New York.

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