Can a felon vote in New York? Electoral rights are automatically restored upon discharge of a prison sentence or completion of parole. Felons in the state may vote who are currently on parole. Any felons on parole who do not have more than a single felony conviction may regain their rights to vote by requesting a Certificate of Good Conduct or Certificate of Relief from Disabilities.
Felon Voting Law in New York
According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), felons cannot vote while they are incarcerated or on parole. Once a person has completed their sentence, the right to vote is immediately restored. However, it is up to the felon to re-register to vote with his or her county board of elections. As stated, individuals on probation can vote.
Currently, just over 122,000 individuals with felony convictions cannot vote in the state. Of this amount 54% are in jail or prison while the remainder are on parole. Unfortunately, most felons receive very little information about their right to vote.
According to one study overseen by the Sentencing Project, over 40% of the respondents thought that incarceration denied them their right to vote. Not only that, around 60% of those surveyed thought that probation took away their eligibility to vote as well. Even election workers in the state did not know that felons could vote if they had served their sentences or that individuals on probation could vote.
One study revealed that more than half of the county election boards in the state unlawfully asked that felons, who were no longer incarcerated, present paperwork about their status and denied them access to registration until they furnished the documents. Since felons can vote automatically upon release from prison, this type of requirement was unnecessary. You can read more about these details by clicking on the following link.
How a Felon in New York Can Restore Their Voting Rights
In New York, you must meet the following requirements in order to register to vote –
· You must be a US citizen and 18 years of age by December 31st of the year in which you file a form for registration (You must be 18 years of age by the scheduled date of the primary or general election in which you plan to vote)
· You must live in the locale where you plan to vote at least 30 days before an electoral event
· You cannot be incarcerated or on parole for a felony
· You must be judged to be mentally competent
· You cannot claim a right to vote somewhere else
Felons can register in person at the county board of elections or at any state agency- based registration center. You can also enter your contact name and address to the Board of Elections so a voter registration form can be mailed. The form can also be downloaded online and mailed in. Felons can also contact 1-800-FOR-VOTE to request an application for registration. Both English and Spanish forms are available for download online.
Once the form is filled out, you will need to print it and sign it. No Adobe-generated or digital signatures are accepted. The form should be mailed to the county board of elections. You can obtain further details by clicking on this link.
Other Resources For Felons in New York
Jobs For Felons: If you’re a felon looking for a job in New York, we have all of the resources you need including job listings by city, companies that hire felons, and our own job board. Click Here to learn more.