The New York state legislature is now considering a bill that would give voting privileges to convicted criminals who are still in jail.
Brooklyn Democrat Senator Kevin Parker introduced a bill this week that will allow criminals to vote from jail, the New York Post reported.
The state and county board of elections would be tasked with implementing the policy.
“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?” Parker said in the bill memo, adding that current laws preventing criminals from voting disenfranchises minorities.
The bill also maintains that a convict would automatically be registered to vote in the district where he lived before being sent to jail.
But that provision may be problematic because that convict will not actually be living in that district when census counts are made to apportion legislative districts.
However, not all Democrats are on the same page with the plan.
“If an individual has committed a crime and is incarcerated, they have lost the right to vote. They should serve their sentence and not be allowed to exercise a right they once held,” Long Island Dem. Sen. Monica Martinez said.
Senate Democrat Conference spokesman Mike Murphy was quick to point out that just because a bill is introduced, that does not mean it is a lock to pass.
“New York presently has 45,000 inmates in state facilities and just over 19,780 in local jails,” the Post noted.
This bill, though, may seem like the next logical step for a state where the governor has already given the right to vote to parolees.
Democrats across the country are looking for ways to give criminals the right to vote. Indeed, studies show that over 60 percent of criminals vote Democrat when they regain the right to vote.
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