Friday, October 28, 2016

Under New NYC Council Bill Jailbirds Granted Absentee Ballots While Waiting Trial

The New York City Council passed a bill yesterday to require jails to give out Absentee ballots to would-be voters behind bars, sponsored by a City Councilman who might have to make use of it himself.

Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Queens), who is under indictment on a slew of corruption charges, introduced the measure to force the Department of Correction to distribute Absentee ballots, as well as applications to get the ballots, and offer assistance filling out the forms for inmates who are registered voters and waiting for trial.

In New York, people who are incarcerated on a felony conviction cannot vote, but those in jail awaiting trial or on a misdemeanor conviction can still cast ballots.

“Those individuals would be able to exercise their most basic right to democracy,” Wills said.

The Council also passed a bill to require City Agencies that already have to distribute Voter Registration forms to also assist people in filling out the section of the form that allows voters to become Organ Donors. That could help improve New York’s dismal organ donor rate, which is dead last among the 50 states, backers said.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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