WASHINGTON, D.C. — New York passed a law on Tuesday that will restore voting rights to people on parole. S. 830B, which the Democratic Legislature passed last month, was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). The legislation restores the right to vote to parolees immediately after their release from prison; previously, those on parole would have to have their rights individually restored. S. 830B also requires the government to inform people on parole that they are eligible to vote.
This change has been long-sought by advocates in New York, who previously raised concerns that voters would not register to vote even after they completed their parole because they were not informed of when they would be eligible. The automatic restoration and notification of rights to parolees will significantly increase voter registration for this population. Democrats in the state Legislature celebrated the enactment of the bill; state Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell (D), who introduced the legislation, tweeted, “Parole disenfranchisement was designed to prevent Black men from voting. We see the legacy of these laws in the largely Black and Latinx parolee population today. We are one step closer to dismantling the vestiges of segregation-era felony disenfranchisement in NY.”