New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0870-2015    Version: * Name: Voting by convicted felons. (A.7634)
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Governmental Operations
On agenda: 9/30/2015
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign A.7634, which would amend both the New York State Election Law and the Correction Law, in relation to voting by convicted felons.
Sponsors: Ydanis A. Rodriguez, Ruben Wills, Ben Kallos, Margaret S. Chin, Laurie A. Cumbo, Deborah L. Rose, Carlos Menchaca, Brad S. Lander, Andrew Cohen, James G. Van Bramer, Stephen T. Levin, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.
Council Member Sponsors: 12
Attachments: 1. September 30, 2015 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 2. Committee Report 2/29/16, 3. Hearing Testimony 2/29/16, 4. Hearing Transcript 2/29/16, 5. Committee Report 10/26/16, 6. Hearing Testimony 10/26/16, 7. Hearing Transcript 10/26/16, 8. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - October 27, 2016
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
10/27/2016*Ydanis A. Rodriguez City Council Approved, by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
10/26/2016*Ydanis A. Rodriguez Committee on Governmental Operations Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
10/26/2016*Ydanis A. Rodriguez Committee on Governmental Operations Amendment Proposed by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
10/26/2016*Ydanis A. Rodriguez Committee on Governmental Operations Amended by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
10/26/2016*Ydanis A. Rodriguez Committee on Governmental Operations Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
2/29/2016*Ydanis A. Rodriguez Committee on Governmental Operations Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/29/2016*Ydanis A. Rodriguez Committee on Governmental Operations Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
9/30/2015*Ydanis A. Rodriguez City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
9/30/2015*Ydanis A. Rodriguez City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Res. No. 870

 

Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign A.7634, which would amend both the New York State Election Law and the Correction Law, in relation to voting by convicted felons.

 

By Council Members Rodriguez, Wills, Kallos, Chin, Cumbo, Rose, Menchaca, Lander, Cohen, Van Bramer, Levin and Cornegy

 

Whereas, The New York State Election Law (“Election Law”) Section 5-106 bars individuals convicted of a state felony from voting or registering to vote, but restores voting rights upon release from parole or arrival of the maximum expiration date of their sentence; and

Whereas, The New York State Correction Law (“Correction Law”)  Section 75 stipulates that “Upon the discharge from a correctional facility of any person whose maximum  sentence of imprisonment has expired or upon a person's discharge from community supervision, the department shall notify such person of his or  her  right to vote and provide such person with a form of application for voter registration together with written information distributed by the board of  elections on the importance and the mechanics of voting”; and

Whereas, A.7634, introduced by New York State Assembly Member Daniel J. O’Donnell and pending in the Assembly, seeks to promote community reintegration and civic engagement by restoring voting rights to parolees, rather than restricting them to waiting until a discharge from parole or an expiration of a sentence; and

                     Whereas, According to The Sentencing Project, as of 2010, only a minority of disenfranchised voters remain in prison, as 75% of the disenfranchised population reside within communities under probation, parole, or a completed sentence; and

                     Whereas, According to The Sentencing Project, the disenfranchisement rate for the United States has increased dramatically as the prison population has grown, with 1.17 million individuals disenfranchised in 1976, to 5.85 million disenfranchised in 2010; and                                                               Whereas, This dramatically increasing prison population is disproportionately made up of African-Americans-making up 1 million out of 2.3 million incarcerated, according to the NAACP-thus disproportionately disenfranchising many more African-Americans who have been convicted; and

Whereas, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (“DOCCS”) reported that in 2013, 50% of inmates were African-American, and 24% of inmates were Hispanic; and

Whereas, According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, as of 2010, “an estimated 122,018 people with felony convictions are barred from voting in New York”, with 54% of the disfranchised in prison or jail and 46%  of the disfranchised on parole; and

Whereas, According to a 2010 study conducted by The Sentencing Project, “over 40% of prisoners believe that incarceration causes someone to permanently lose his or her right to vote, and almost 60% of prisoners believe that being on probation makes them ineligible to vote”; and

Whereas, A.7634 would amend Election Law Section 5-106 by restoring voting rights to individuals who have been released to community supervision from incarceration; and

Whereas, A.7634 would amend Election Law Section 5-106 by extending Section 1 to apply to Federal felony convictions and convictions from other states; and

Whereas, A.7634 would amend Correction Law Section 75 by requiring the DOCCS to notify each individual on parole of his or her right to vote, along with the provision of registration forms; and

Whereas, Most individuals on parole may be barred from voting despite being in the community for many years after leaving incarceration, awaiting the end of their parole or sentence, and are unaware of their ability to vote even after they become eligible; and

Whereas; Voting is a universal right and should not be withheld from individuals who are on the path to reentering society as members of the community, and those who are able to vote post-incarceration should be made aware of their rights to civic participation; and

Whereas, Parole is utilized as a means to prevent recidivism and aid to reintegrate someone into society, and disenfranchisement after prison prevents them from exercising constitutional rights and displaying civic responsibility, thus hindering the reintegration process; and

Whereas, Individuals who have left prison  and are being reintegrated into society  should have their voting rights restored and be made aware of their restoration; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign A.7634, which would amend both the New York State Election Law and the Correction Law, in relation to voting by convicted felons.

 

 

WJH

LS 5429

7/7/15