ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — A proposed Senate bill that would grant inmates the right to vote is generating a lot of responses.
The bill was introduced on Wednesday and has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee. It’s sponsored by Democrat Kevin Parker.
Under the bill, an inmate’s vote could be counted in the county where they previously resided.
A program to facilitate voting and voter registration would be established to include access to forms and absentee ballots.
The justification section in the bill memo asks: “If an incarcerated individual can be counted as a whole person in the census, then why can’t their vote be counted in an election…”
The bill has taken heat from some Democrats and Republicans alike.
Assemblyman John McDonald tweeted that “you will not see [him] sponsoring this bill.”
Assemblyman Angelo Morinello sent a statement saying:
“Once an inmate has completed their sentence and paid their debt to society, they have the opportunity to vote again. Allowing them to vote in prison is wrong and unfair to the thousands of law-abiding residents of New York.”
The memo for the bill also “helps to facilitate an easier transition back into society for those incarcerated.
There’s no Assembly version of the bill right now.