senate Bill S2760

Amended

Relates to voting and registration for voting by convicted felons

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 01 / Feb / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 29 / Feb / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO ELECTIONS
  • 29 / Feb / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 2760A

Summary

Relates to voting and registration for voting by convicted felons; may vote if pardoned, such persons 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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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A3601
Versions:
S2760
S2760A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §5-106, El L; amd §259-a, Exec L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S4643, A2445
2007-2008: A9706

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2760

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the election law and the executive law, in relation to voting
by convicted felons

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill would restore voting rights to parolees, to facilitate
community 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 subdivision two of section 5-106 of the
Election Law to restore voting rights to individuals who have been
released to community supervision from New York state sentences
imposed as a result of New York felony convictions. Election Law
§5-106(2) bars a person convicted of a New York felony from voting or
registering to vote, and also, as currently drafted, restores voting
rights when the person is either discharged from parole or reaches
the maximum expiration date of his or her sentence. This bill would
restore voting rights while the person is serving the community
supervision portion of the sentence, so that he or she can exercise
the civic responsibility of voting. Sections two and three of the
bill make similar changes to subdivisions three and four of EL§5-1
06, which deal respectively with federal felony convictions and
felony convictions in other states.

Section 4 of the bill requires the Division of Parole to make voter
registration forms available to parolees.

Section 5 of the bill is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Under current law, a felony conviction imposes a variety of
disabilities, including a bar to voting, and the voting bar may be
removed only by discharge from, or completion of, the sentence as
provided in the Election Law, or by issuance of a certificate of
relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct under
Article 23 of the Correction Law. Certificates of relief and good
conduct may be issued to relieve eligible offenders of a variety of
different disabilities, and may be specifically limited to one or
more enumerated forfeiture, disability or bar. See Correction Law
§§701(1), 703-a(1). However, these certificates are not issued
automatically, even for the limited purpose of restoring voting

rights, and some releasees supervised by the Division of Parole may
not be eligible for certificates of good conduct until they meet
statutory waiting periods. Thus, many, if not most, releasees cannot
vote until after their periods of community supervision are over.

Parole is meant to help prevent recidivism and to rehabilitate and
reinitiate a felon back into society. This rehabilitation is built on
the offender's recognition of fault, taking responsibility for his or
her behavior, and his or her effort to change. Preventing releasees
from voting, and from exercising a constitutional right and a civic
responsibility, is a barrier to full reintegration into society. It
also continues to punish people who have already served the
incarcerative parts of their sentences, and that part of their debt
to society.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-10: S.4643/A.2445 (O'Donnell) Referred to Elections Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately, except that section 4 shall
take effect 120 days after becoming law, to give the Division of
Parole time to implement section 4.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  2760

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 1, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. HASSELL-THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections

AN ACT to amend the election law and the executive 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:

  Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 5-106  of  the  election  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  373  of  the  laws  of 1978, is amended to read as
follows:
  2. No person who has been convicted of a felony pursuant to  the  laws
of  this  state,  shall  have  the  right to register for or vote at any
election unless [he]: (I)  SUCH  PERSON  shall  have  been  pardoned  or
restored  to  the  rights  of citizenship by the governor, or [his] (II)
SUCH PERSON'S maximum sentence of imprisonment has expired, or  [he  has
been  discharged  from  parole.  The  governor, however, may attach as a
condition to any such pardon a provision that any such person shall  not
have  the right of suffrage until it shall have been separately restored
to him] (III) SUCH PERSON IS  SERVING  A  TERM  OF  PAROLE,  PRESUMPTIVE
RELEASE, CONDITIONAL RELEASE OR POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION.
  S  2. Subdivision 3 of section 5-106 of the election law is amended to
read as follows:
  3. No person who has been convicted in a federal court, of  a  felony,
or  a crime or offense which would constitute a felony under the laws of
this state, shall have the right to register for or vote at any election
unless [he]: (I) SUCH PERSON shall have been pardoned or restored to the
rights of citizenship by the president of the United  States,  or  [his]
(II)  SUCH PERSON'S maximum sentence of imprisonment has expired, or [he
has been discharged from parole] (III) SUCH PERSON IS SERVING A TERM  OF
PAROLE,  PRESUMPTIVE RELEASE, CONDITIONAL RELEASE OR POST-RELEASE SUPER-
VISION.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05725-01-1

S. 2760                             2

  S 3. Subdivision 4 of section 5-106 of the election law is amended  to
read as follows:
  4.  No  person  who has been convicted in another state for a crime or
offense which would constitute a felony under the  laws  of  this  state
shall  have  the  right  to register for or vote at any election in this
state unless [he]: (I) SUCH PERSON shall have been pardoned or  restored
to  the  rights  of  citizenship  by  the  governor or other appropriate
authority of such other state,  or  [his]  (II)  SUCH  PERSON'S  maximum
sentence has expired, or [he has been discharged from parole] (III) SUCH
PERSON  IS  SERVING  A  TERM OF PAROLE, PRESUMPTIVE RELEASE, CONDITIONAL
RELEASE OR POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION.
  S 4. Section 259-a of the executive law is amended  by  adding  a  new
subdivision 6-b to read as follows:
  6-B.  THE  DIVISION  SHALL HAVE THE DUTY TO PROVIDE VOTER REGISTRATION
FORMS TO  EVERY  PERSON  ON  PAROLE,  PRESUMPTIVE  RELEASE,  CONDITIONAL
RELEASE  OR POST-RELEASE SUPERVISION AT THE TIME SUCH PERSON IS RELEASED
TO SUPERVISION OR AS SOON THEREAFTER AS PRACTICABLE.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately, provided,  however,  that
section  four of this act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth
day after it shall have become a law.

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