The New York City Campaign Finance Board posted regrets Wednesday after not updating their Voter Guide to reflect an executive order restoring the voting rights of some previously incarcerated voters.
On page 15 of the 2018 Voter Guide (English), a response to whether a convicted felon can vote reads, “If you have been convicted of a felony, you can register and vote after you complete your sentence and/or parole.”
However, on April 18, 2018, Gov. Cuomo signed an executive order to restore voting rights to certain individuals on parole. The measure is meant to level the disproportionate impact the voting restriction has on African-American and Hispanic voters. Fourteen other states practice a similar policy on formerly incarcerated people.
Either the NYC officials who put together this year's City Voter Guide royally messed up or they are intentionally trying to exclude formerly incarcerated NYers from voting. NYers on parole CAN vote. This info is wrong. @NYCMayor & @NYCSpeakerCoJo should look into this & act now. pic.twitter.com/wuW7eooYXi
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— Dave George (@davidgeorge265) October 30, 2018
“The damage has been done,” said a Legal Aid spokesperson. “The city has to do a better job of getting this information correct and getting it to the right people.”
“We take re-infranchising these folks very seriously, as should the city,” he added.
The CFB responded to the matter a little after 1:00 pm Wednesday on Twitter. The post detailing the state’s new mandate on recent parolees.
“You have the right to vote! If you were previously registered to vote, your voter record should still be active. To check if you’re registered, go to voting.nyc. in a separate post, BOE said they’ve been working closely with the Center of Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers which includes a trip to Rikers Island — although parolees won’t be at the facility.
The language in our Voter Guide was not updated to reflect the executive order restoring voting rights to most parolees in New York. We regret the error and any confusion that this has caused. pic.twitter.com/im1TrQhZKw
— NYC Votes (@NYCVotes) October 31, 2018
The CFB hasn’t updated their website since 2016 with regards to voting with a criminal record. See the office’s instructions on voting after spending time in prison here.
A previous version of this story cited the Board of Elections instead of the Campaign Finance Board. It has since been corrected.
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