Votes for Felons

The Story

Governor Cuomo recently issued an executive order that would allow him to restore the voting rights of felons on parole. Along with other restrictions placed on parolees, current New York State law does not reinstate voting privileges for those convicted of serious crimes until they have completed their sentences. Cuomo’s action is widely seen as an election-year gambit to appeal to the left wing of the Democratic Party — politics as usual, in other words. But New Yorkers should watch their governor carefully as his political calculus leads him to make radical moves.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Recidivism: Two-thirds of parolees are rearrested for serious crimes within three years. Read more.

  2. Restrictions: Parolees in New York are not allowed to leave the state, to have weapons, or to associate with criminals; their homes can be searched without a warrant, and they can be given curfews and forbidden to drink alcohol. Read more.

  3. Election pressure: Governor Cuomo angered progressive voters when he failed to deliver on many of their issues after his 2014 reelection. Read more.

“Cuomo’s leftward turn has damaged the state’s already dubious business climate, to say nothing of its overburdened taxpayers.”

Bob McManus, City Journal contributing editor

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

How to Straighten Out Ex-Cons By Heather Mac Donald (Spring 2003)

“It’s time to hold wardens and parole officers accountable for cutting recidivism.”

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