Cuomo’s parolee voting order has Senate GOP, some residents uneasy

Posted: Updated:

An executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the spring that allows New Yorkers on parole to vote in elections is not sitting well with some parents and elected officials.

They say allowing convicted felons into schools used as polling places could put children at risk.

“These people lost their right to vote for a reason and [Gov. Cuomo] summarily decided that public policy is going to be determined by him,” says Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.

Flanagan says Gov. Cuomo's order would allow sex offenders and other violent offenders to enter schools on election days to vote. He and other Republican senators held a special hearing on the issue in Hicksville.

Some parents say they're not so sure about allowing parolees into a school building when normally security would prevent them from being on school grounds.

Parolee rights advocates say there has been little evidence to show that parolees cause any problems on election days.

A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo said 16 other states have given parolees the right to vote.

"Let's be very clear: These hearings are nothing more than an election-year stunt by the Senate Republicans, and we're not going to be their props," the spokesman released in a statement.

Laura Ahearn, from Parents for Megan's Law, says sex offenders should not be allowed in schools at all. She recommends giving them absentee ballots along with postage.

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