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Republicans Not Happy With Cuomo's Directive to...

AP Image. Credit to The Associated Press.

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Republicans are blasting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order restoring the voting rights of parolees.

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan said Wednesday the move is bad public policy and potentially illegal since Cuomo chose to sidestep the Legislature.

The order could impact up to 35,000 parolees who currently aren’t allowed to vote. Cuomo’s directive will give corrections officials the power to block some former inmates from regaining the right to cast a ballot.

Some 14 states and the District of Columbia already allow people to vote once they are released from incarceration.

The governor issued the directive on Wednesday.

Cuomo noted that nearly three-fourths of the people on parole in New York are black or Latino. He said that allowing parolees to participate in voting is another way to help them re-establish ties to the community as law-abiding citizens.

Advocates for criminal justice reform hailed the move.

The second-term governor is facing a spirited Democratic primary challenge from “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon, who has faulted Cuomo for not doing enough to help minorities.