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It could be that there's a lot of political reasons why a legislature might want to introduce a restrictive bill and sponsor it. But that doesn't mean that the bill is going to go anywhere, there's more this year than there were last year so we at least have reason to be concerned about what might happen next.
People on parole live and work in our cities and towns, and by automatically restoring their right to vote, New York is finally welcoming them as full participants in society. That's a crucial change, one that will ameliorate one of the vestiges of Jim Crow, due to the racial disparities in New York's criminal justice system, nearly three-quarters of those disenfranchised by the ban on voting for people on parole were Black or Latino.
By passing this bill, the state assembly has sent a clear message : if you live in the community, you should be able to vote, disenfranchising people on parole is a vestige of Jim Crow and because of the racial disparities plaguing New York State's criminal justice system, it has had an enormous impact on Black and Latino New Yorkers. We look forward to the governor putting an end to it by signing this bill into law.
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