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What parents should know about new parolee voting plan ahead of Thursday's election

Posted: 6:08 PM, Sep 12, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-12 18:09:40-04

"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced an Executive Order restoring voting rights to New Yorkers on parole... This reform will restore the right to vote upon release from incarceration and reverse disenfranchisement for thousands of New Yorkers," that statement released by Governor Andrew Cuomo's office back on April 18.

Ahead of Thursday's primary election, sex offender parolees will be eligible to vote at public school polling schools after 7 p.m. Sex offenders on parole who would like to vote are required to request a petition from their parole officer. That particular parole officer must contact the local superintendent of schools and receive a confirmation that they have agreed to allow said sex offender to vote.

“I mean the governor used an Executive Order to bypass the legislative process entirely to grant voting rights to parolees who have not yet finished their debt to society," New York State Assembly Member of the 146 District, Raymond Walter, said. 

In a statement by Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan, "The Governor has tacitly given sex offenders permission to show up at schools after 7 p.m. to cast their votes. But what happens when a Level 3 sex offender shows up at a school at five or six o'clock, while football, soccer, cheerleading, and girls volleyball practices are finishing up?"

Tonawanda High School has nearly 40 access points, for Dr. Timothy A Oldenburg, security is the top priority. 

 “I would question whether or not times have changed enough to where polling sites should be considered at different locations outside of a public school," Oldenburg said. 

Governor Cuomo's office released statement early Wednesday, "The truth is, the Governor’s action put New York on par with 16 other states – liberal and conservative– that restore voting rights to the formerly incarcerated and do so in the way that’s exactly prescribed by law."

Any sex offender not on parole, or on probation has full rights to vote. 

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