New voter education law in New York
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--A new law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul will require local jails to provide voter registration information to individuals being released from local correctional facilities.
Some advocates said education is an important part of the voting process.
“I think one of the, especially here in New York State, bigger barriers to being able to cast your vote is a lack of either knowledge about the process or a lack of being appropriately registered,” said Erica Smitka, Deputy Director, League of Women Voters of New York State.
Some Republican lawmakers said they think this legislation is overprotective.
“I think it’s just more pandering to the far left. It’s more criminal coddling,” said Sen. George Borrello (R-57th Senate District).
Some Democratic lawmakers said this new law will help confront barriers preventing individuals from fully participating in the democratic process.
"This legislation is a critical step towards ending the disenfranchisement of formerly incarcerated individuals and rectifying systemic injustices that have disproportionately marginalized Black and Brown communities," said Sen. Jamaal Bailey (D-36th Senate District).
Smitka said a lack of access to voter information can perpetuate barriers to the ballot box.
“A lack of fair information or access to voting information really is a form of voter suppression. It might not be as easily identifiable but it’s a form of voter suppression by process,” she said.
The new law will take effect 180 days after it's signing.