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A04448 Summary:

BILL NOA04448A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S00830-B
 
SPONSORO'Donnell
 
COSPNSRWalker, Weprin, Carroll, Jean-Pierre, Quart, Gottfried, Barron, Rosenthal L, Simon, Dinowitz, De La Rosa, Abinanti, Seawright, Rozic, Perry, Niou, Epstein, Cruz, Fernandez, Bichotte Hermelyn, Anderson, Kelles, Gallagher, Jacobson, Burgos, Forrest, Otis, Mamdani, Jackson, Dickens, Meeks, Clark, Mitaynes, Sayegh, Cook, Gonzalez-Rojas, Taylor, McDonald, Darling, Zinerman, Burdick, Benedetto, Peoples-Stokes, Richardson, Hyndman, Lupardo
 
MLTSPNSRGalef, Hevesi, Magnarelli, Paulin, Pretlow, Thiele
 
Amd §§5-106, 8-504 & 3-102, rpld §8-504 sub 5, El L; amd §220.50, CP L; amd §259-i, Exec L; amd §75, add §§510 & 209, Cor L
 
Relates to voting and registration for voting by formerly incarcerated individuals convicted of a felony.
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A04448 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A4448A
 
SPONSOR: O'Donnell
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, the criminal procedure law, the execu- tive law, and the correction law, in relation to voting by formerly incarcerated individuals convicted of a felony; and to repeal certain provisions of the election law relating thereto   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 1 of the bill amends the election law to make it clear that no one convicted of a felony and sentenced for said felony for violating New York State Law may vote while incarcerated. Section 2 of the bill amends the election law to make it clear that no one convicted of a felony and sentenced for said felony via conviction in a Federal Court of a crime that would be considered a felony under the laws of New York State Law may vote while incarcerated. Section 3 of the bill amends the election law to make it clear that no one convicted of a felony and sentenced for said felony via conviction in another State Court of a crime that would be considered a felony under the laws of New York State Law may vote while incarcerated. Section 4 of the bill amends the Criminal Procedure Law to add a requirement that before defendants charged with a felony make a plea that they be apprised that conviction will result in the loss of their right to vote while they are serving a felony sentence and the right to vote will be restored upon their release from custody. Section 5 of the bill amends the Criminal Procedure Law to add a requirement that at the time of sentencing for a felony offense, defend- ants be apprised that a conviction will result in the loss of their right to vote while they are serving a felony sentence and the right to vote will be restored upon their release from custody. Section 6 of the bill amends the Executive Law to ensure that individ- uals about to be granted parole are advised and notified in writing that their voting rights will be restored upon release. Section 7 amends the Executive Law to ensure that individuals about to be released upon parole are advised and notified in writing that their voting rights will be restored upon release. Section 8 amends the Executive Law to ensure in cases where a revocation of parole that results in reincarceration is contemplated, the individ- ual affected shall receive written notice that this will result in the loss of the right to vote for such period and the right to vote will be restored upon release. Section 9 of the bill amends the Correction Law to ensure that individ- uals about to be released from State Facilities are notified both verbally and in writing that their voting rights will be restored upon release; they shall be provided a voter registration/declination form and further be provided assistance in filling it out along with voter education materials by the Board of Elections. Either the registering individual or the Department of Corrections shall transmit the completed registration application to the local board of the individual's resi- dence. Section 10 of the bill amends the Correction Law to ensure that individ- uals about to be released from Local Facilities are notified both verbally and in writing that their voting rights will be restored upon release; they shall be provided a voter registration/declination form and further be provided assistance in filling it out along with voter education materials by the Board of Elections. Either the registering individual or the Department of Corrections shall transmit the completed registration application to the local board of the individual's resi- dence. Section 11 of the bill amends the Correction Law to ensure that individ- uals about to be released from Community Supervision are notified both verbally and in writing that their voting rights will be restored upon release; they shall be provided a voter registration/declination form and further be provided assistance in filling it out along with voter education materials by the Board of Elections. Either the registering individual or the Department of Corrections shall transmit the completed registration application to the local board of the individual's resi- dence: Section 12 of the bill amends the. Election Law to provide for a new outreach program to educate professionals such as lawyers, judges, election officials, corrections officials and the public about the new policy. Section 13 of the bill contains the enacting clause which provides that sections 1-3 & 7 will go into effect immediately and sections 4-6 & 8-12 will go into effect on the 120th day after the bill shall have become law.   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 expiration 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 certificate 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 communi- ty supervision are over. Once supervision is over, many formerly incar- cerated 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 super- vision or not. Parole is meant to help prevent recidivism and to reha- bilitate and reintegrate a felon back into society. Preventing releasees from voting, and thus from exercising a constitutional tight 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 treatment 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.4987/S1931 (2019-20) A.5367/S.960 (2017-18); 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 through 9 shall take effect 120 days after becoming law, to provide time for implementation.
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