Gov. Cuomo Defends Move That Allows Convicted Sex Offenders To Vote At Schools

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended a move that allows felons to vote again once they serve their time during a debate with Republican challenger Marc Molinaro.

The concern, raised by host WCBS Newsradio 880 reporter Rich Lamb, was that many of those felons had been convicted of sex offenses — and a large number of polling places are schools.

WATCH:

Lamb’s question, in its entirety, asks:

“Governor, your mass pardons of ex-cons has caused controversy because it restores their right to vote at the polls. Some of those pardoned are sex offenders whose polling place is often a school. Should this program be re-examined and should those convicted of sex offenses be allowed to vote only by absentee ballot?”

Cuomo began by explaining that those his program affected were on parole after serving their time, and this was part of a concerted effort to help them reintegrate back into society — something he claimed would help to slow the rate of recidivism.

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The concern Lamb addressed may well be warranted, as Bureau of Justice Statistics data suggests that sex offenders are up to four times more likely to commit another sex crime after release than those convicted of non-sex-related offenses.

The governor went on to say that he would not support allowing sex offenders anywhere there might be children, but Molinaro quickly fired back, saying, “You did allow exactly that to happen; 24,000 individuals, conditional pardons, many of which were sex offenders, rapists, murderers, and you not only allowed them to vote, you encouraged and instructed the probation department to register them to vote.”

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