|SAME AS||SAME AS S00960|
|COSPNSR||Sepulveda, Walker, Blake, Weprin, Carroll, Ortiz, D'Urso, Jean-Pierre|
|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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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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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 has9 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 such11 person shall not have the right of suffrage until it shall have been12 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 by23 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. LBD00170-01-7A. 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.