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A05367 Summary:

BILL NOA05367
 
SAME ASSAME AS S00960
 
SPONSORO'Donnell
 
COSPNSRSepulveda, Walker, Blake, Weprin, Carroll, Ortiz, D'Urso, Jean-Pierre
 
MLTSPNSRLentol
 
Amd 5-106, El L; amd 75, add 510, Cor L
 
Relates to voting and registration for voting by convicted felons; provides such convicted felons may vote if such person's maximum sentence of imprisonment has expired, or such person is serving a term of parole, presumptive release, conditional release or post-release supervision.
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A05367 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A5367
 
SPONSOR: O'Donnell (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law and the correction law, in relation to voting by convicted felons   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would restore voting rights to parolees, to facilitate commu- nity reintegration and participation in the civic process, rather than requiring a parolee to wait until he or she has been discharged from parole or reached the maximum expiration date of the sentence.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends subdivisions two of section 5-106 of the Election Law by restoring voting rights to individuals who have been released to community supervision from incarceration as the result of a state felony conviction. Currently, Election Law § 5-106 bars persons convicted of a felony from voting or registering to vote but restores voting rights when the person is either discharged from parole or reaches the maximum expiration date of his or her sentence. Sections two and three of the bill make similar changes to subdivisions three and four of EL5-106, which deal respectively with federal felony convictions and felony convictions in other states. Section 4 of the bill amends section 75 of the correction law to require the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to provide voter registration forms to persons upon release from prison. Section 5 of the bill adds a new section 510 to the correction law to require local jails to provide voter registration forms to persons released from local jails. Section 6 of the bill requires the Department of Corrections and Commu- nity Supervision to notify each person serving a period of community supervision of his or her right to vote and to provide such person with a voter registration form. Section 7 of the bill is the effective date.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (T APPLICABLE): None.   JUSTIFICATION: Voting is a fundamental right for adults in this country but the disen- franchisement of felons permitted by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Each state has different rules for the franchise; Vermont and Maine permit people who are in prison to vote while some other states treat a felony conviction as a lifelong bar to voting. Currently in New York persons convicted of felonies who have been released from prison cannot vote while they are under community super- vision unless they have had the right restored by a certificate of relief, a certificate of good conduct or a pardon from the Governor. In general, New York law allows persons convicted of felonies to vote after they have been discharged from parole or reached the maximum expi- ration of their sentences, which might not take place until after a formerly incarcerated person has spent many years in the community. The right to vote may be restored before a person is off parole by a certif- icate of relief or good conduct, but most parolees must wait three to five years before they can even apply for a certificate that may take two or more years to be issued or that can be denied without recourse. Thus, many, if not most, releasees cannot vote until after their periods of community supervision are over. Once supervision is over, many formerly incarcerated persons do not even register to vote because they are not aware that they are eligible. This bill restores the right to vote upon release from incarceration. If a person is not in prison, he or she should be able to participate in civic life and vote, whether on supervision or not. Parole is meant to help prevent recidivism and to rehabilitate and reintegrate a felon back into society. Preventing releasees from voting, and thus from exercising a constitutional right and a civic responsibility, is a significant barrier to full reintegration that arbitrarily comes to an end at different times for different releasees. This bill restores equal treat- ment to persons by restoring the right to vote at the same time, upon release from prison, for all people living in the community.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.7634/S.2023A (2015-16); A.2445/S.4643 (2009-10)   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately, except that sections 4 and 5 shall take effect 120 days after becoming law, to give the department of corrections and community supervision time to implement these sections.
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A05367 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          5367
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 8, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. O'DONNELL, SEPULVEDA, WALKER, BLAKE, KAVANAGH --
          Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. LENTOL -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Election Law
 
        AN ACT to amend the election law and the correction law, in relation  to
          voting by convicted felons

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 5-106  of  the  election  law,  as
     2  amended  by  chapter  373  of  the  laws  of 1978, is amended to read as
     3  follows:
     4    2. No person who has been convicted of a felony  and  sentenced  to  a
     5  period  of  imprisonment  for  such  felony pursuant to the laws of this
     6  state, shall have the right to register for  or  vote  at  any  election
     7  unless  he  [shall have been pardoned or restored to the rights of citi-
     8  zenship by the governor, or his maximum  sentence  of  imprisonment  has
     9  expired,  or  he has been discharged from parole. The governor, however,
    10  may attach as a condition to any such pardon a provision that  any  such
    11  person  shall  not  have  the right of suffrage until it shall have been
    12  separately restored to him] or she has been released from  incarceration
    13  for  such  felony or released from serving a time assessment pursuant to
    14  subparagraph (x) of paragraph (f) of subdivision three  of  section  two
    15  hundred fifty-nine-i of the executive law.
    16    §  2. Subdivision 3 of section 5-106 of the election law is amended to
    17  read as follows:
    18    3. No person who has been convicted in a federal court, of  a  felony,
    19  or  a crime or offense which would constitute a felony under the laws of
    20  this state, and sentenced to a period of imprisonment for  such  felony,
    21  shall  have  the right to register for or vote at any election unless he
    22  [shall have been pardoned or restored to the rights  of  citizenship  by
    23  the president of the United States, or his maximum sentence of imprison-
    24  ment has expired, or he has been discharged from parole] or she has been
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00170-01-7

        A. 5367                             2
 
     1  released  from  incarceration for such felony or released from serving a
     2  time assessment pursuant to a  violation  of  parole  supervision  under
     3  federal jurisdiction.
     4    §  3. Subdivision 4 of section 5-106 of the election law is amended to
     5  read as follows:
     6    4. No person who has been convicted in another state for  a  crime  or
     7  offense which would constitute a felony under the laws of this state and
     8  sentenced  to  a  period of imprisonment for such felony, shall have the
     9  right to register for or vote at any election in this  state  unless  he
    10  shall have been pardoned or restored to the rights of citizenship by the
    11  governor  or  other  appropriate  authority  of such other state, or his
    12  maximum sentence has expired, or he [has been discharged from parole] or
    13  she has been released from incarceration for  such  felony  or  released
    14  from  serving  a  time  assessment for a violation of parole supervision
    15  under the jurisdiction of courts, paroling authorities,  corrections  or
    16  other criminal justice agencies.
    17    §  4.  Section  75  of the correction law, as amended by section 18 of
    18  subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of  2011,  is  amended  to
    19  read as follows:
    20    §  75.  Notice  of  voting rights. Upon the [discharge] release from a
    21  correctional facility of any person [whose maximum sentence of imprison-
    22  ment has expired or upon a  person's  discharge  from  community  super-
    23  vision,]  the department shall notify such person of his or her right to
    24  vote and provide such person with a form of application for voter regis-
    25  tration together with written information distributed by  the  board  of
    26  elections on the importance and the mechanics of voting.
    27    § 5. The correction law is amended by adding a new section 510 to read
    28  as follows:
    29    § 510. Voting upon release. Upon the release from a local correctional
    30  facility  of  any  person convicted of a felony the chief administrative
    31  officer shall notify such person of his or her right to vote and provide
    32  such person with a form of application for voter  registration  together
    33  with  written  information  distributed by the board of elections on the
    34  importance and the mechanics of voting.
    35    § 6. The department of corrections  and  community  supervision  shall
    36  notify  each  person  serving  a  period of community supervision on the
    37  effective date of this act of his or her right to vote and provide  such
    38  person  with  a form of application for voter registration together with
    39  written information distributed by the board of elections on the  impor-
    40  tance and the mechanics of voting.
    41    §  7.  This act shall take effect immediately, provided, however, that
    42  sections four, five, and six of this act shall take effect  on  the  one
    43  hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.
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