Hawley Questions Parolee Voting
Written by WBTA STAFF on June 14, 2018
A garbage outside a parole office where parolees have discarded their voter registration forms after given to them by Parole Officers.
According to information obtained by Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci of New York State Corrections and Community Supervision, a department under Gov. Cuomo, has issued a memo directing all department parole officers to begin presenting newly pardoned felons with voter registration forms, help them complete the process of registering to vote and help them locate the local Board of Elections during the course of their taxpayer-funded duties.
In a memo obtained by Hawley that was circulated to department heads, it states “…the Parole Officer must also provide the recipient (of the pardon certificate) with the NYS Voter Registration Form and the NYS Voting Rights form…The Parole Officer must be prepared to assist the parolee with filling out the registration form and the Parole Officer is responsible for providing information regarding the location of the local Board of Elections.”
“This is the most outlandish abuse of power and taxpayer-funded resources I’ve witnessed in my time as a legislator,” Hawley said. “Gov. Cuomo is using state employees as campaign workers to register recently paroled felons to vote. Absolutely outrageous.”
The memo dictates detailed instructions for corrections employees on how to execute pardons and help parolees register to vote and does not specify that this be done outside the purview of their official, taxpayer-funded duties.
“This governor continues to use our money as his money and there seems to be no bound to how autocratic his tenure has become,” Hawley continued. “It’s very possible that there is added pressure on Parole Officers to hit some sort of ‘quota’ on registrations ahead of the governor’s upcoming gubernatorial primary.”