The restoration of voting rights for more than 24,000 paroled felons has triggered concerns that dangerous sex offenders will be entering schools to cast their ballots on election day.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat seeking a third term this year, issued an executive order in April that made parolees eligible for conditional pardons for the intention of allowing them to participate in elections.
By using his executive powers, the governor was able to bypass the Legislature.
State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, argued Wednesday that Cuomo’s move was poorly conceived and sets the stage for a host of problems that will have to be faced by school administrators and staffers at local boards of election.
“This was an ill-thought-out plan and it’s disastrous public policy,” said Ortt, noting it is not uncommon for high-risk sex offenders to seek out new victims to molest or rape.