NY Daily News: Voter registration drive at Rikers Island and other city jails nets 897 added to the rolls


A voter registration push at city jails has added close to 900 people on the rolls for the upcoming election.

All told, 624 incarcerated people and 273 jail visitors can now vote in Tuesday’s election, according to city officials.

The initiative was launched in August at Rikers Island by the Legal Aid Society, and the city’s Campaign Finance Board.

“Voting gives people a chance to have their voices heard and weigh in on important issues that affect all of our lives,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.

New York law allows people on probation to vote; individuals in jail or on parole for felony charges are barred from voting.

As part of the campaign, the city established a direct pick-up and delivery system of voter registration forms and absentee ballots to speed up the mail-in process. Previously, the forms were processed like all other mail leaving jail with security checks.

The de Blasio administration also displayed more than 1,200 posters at various city jails to encourage people to register and vote. Additionally, jail libraries were stocked with “non-partisan information about candidates published by CFB’s NYC Votes,” according to the city.

“For years, The Legal Aid Society has made it a priority to re-enfranchise our incarcerated clients, and we’re glad to have the backing of City Hall,” said Anthony Posada, Supervising Attorney of the Community Justice Unit, at The Legal Aid Society. “We look forward to building this initiative into an effort that’s long-term and year-round, not just for an election cycle. All New Yorkers deserve a voice in our democracy.”