New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order yesterday (April 18) that restores voting rights for state parolees. It’s a move that bypasses the Republican-led New York State Senate, which has previously rejected similar legislative measures.

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An estimated 35,000 fomerly incarcerated people stand to benefit from the order, which will restore rights to those currently on parole as well as people who enter the parole system in the future. New York joins Washington D.C. and 14 other states that automatically restore voting rights to people when they are released from incarceration.

In announcing the measure, Cuomo pointed to the disproportionate impact current voting laws have on communities of color, adding that Black and Latinx New Yorkers represent 71 percent of those disenfranchised by voting restrictions on parolees.


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