New York governor Andrew Cuomo plans to restore voting rights to parolees in the state through an executive order. Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday during the annual convention for the National Action Network, the civil rights organization founded by Al Sharpton.
Today I’m issuing an executive order giving parolees the right to vote.
It is unconscionable to deny voting rights to New Yorkers who have re-entered society.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 18, 2018
That means Cuomo will pardon 35,000 people who are on parole in New York, along with anyone released on parole going forward. For New Yorkers who think Cuomo has been pushed to the left by Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial bid—barely a month into her campaign—the timing of this move may seem suspect. (According to the New York Times, Cuomo’s team insists this aligns with his other criminal justice reforms.)
With Cuomo’s executive order, New York will join 18 other states and Washington, D.C., which already allow parolees to vote. Cuomo claims the New York State Senate has opposed legislation he put forth to give them voting rights.
“I’m unwilling to take no for an answer,” Cuomo said at the convention, the Times reported. “I’m going to make it law by executive order. With active intervention, we can bend the arc toward justice.”
Which is to say, Cuomo is definitely not bending the arc of his re-election campaign to the left because Nixon’s campaign is gaining ground.
“I am absolutely not worried about Cynthia Nixon,” Governor Cuomo announced in a Black Lives Matter hoodie as he legalized drinking in public parks
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) April 18, 2018