Hawley, Ortt fault Cuomo for giving voting rights to paroled felons

Staff Reports Posted 19 April 2018 at 6:32 pm

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, and State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, both are faulting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to restore voting rights to individuals on parole.

The governor said the action will allow 35,000 people to vote who are currently on parole.

“It is unconscionable to deny voting rights to New Yorkers who have paid their debt and have re-entered society,” Cuomo said on Wednesday. “This reform will reduce disenfranchisement and will help restore justice and fairness to our democratic process. Withholding or delaying voting rights diminishes our democracy.”

Assemblyman Hawley issued this statement today:

“The governor is so desperate to appeal to the radical left as his election approaches that he has now granted conditional pardons to roughly 35,000 convicts on parole, a shameful move that flies in the face of every law-abiding citizen who has done the right thing and followed the law.

“Despite the governor’s radical interpretation, paying your debt to society and earning back the ability to exercise our most cherished right, voting, should not be granted until a felon is completely off parole and has been rehabilitated.

“It is obvious Gov. Cuomo will go to great lengths to win an election but I never thought it would involve pandering to rapists, murderers and arsonists. This governor seems to be fonder of helping inmates and convicted felons instead of hardworking, law-abiding citizens.”

Sen. Ortt issued this statement:

“The Governor’s executive order allows convicted criminals, including those who have committed violent offenses, to vote, before they have paid their debt to society. His willingness to bypass the legislature shows he’s more interested in politics than good policy. Equally troubling is the Governor blatantly lying about Republicans blocking legislation that was never proposed. Sadly, this represents nothing more than additional pandering for votes from a governor who is moving further and further to the left – disregarding law and facts.”

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