As a rule, you can vote while in jail for a misdemeanor or while you are on probation. As of May 2021, all New Yorkers who are incarcerated after a felony conviction have their voting rights immediately and automatically restored upon release from prison, whether or not they are on parole. You do not need any special documentation to register to vote.
Voting with a Criminal Record
Know Your Rights
In New York, you CAN vote with a criminal record if you:
- were convicted of a misdemeanor; or
- are on parole; or
- are on probation; or
- were not sentenced to prison or had your prison sentence suspended; or
- served your maximum prison sentence; or
- were pardoned.
New Yorkers who CANNOT vote with a criminal record:
New Yorkers who are currently incarcerated for a felony conviction are ineligible to vote.
Voters who are in jail for a misdemeanor or are awaiting trial:
Misdemeanors do not impact your right to vote. You may still register and vote if you are in jail for a misdemeanor or are awaiting trial, however you will need to vote by absentee ballot.
Voters who are on parole:
On May 4, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to permanently and automatically restore the right of people on parole to vote in all elections. This legislation has established a clear rule of law: if you are living in the community, you can vote.
For more information, visit our Voting Rights of New Yorkers with Felony Convictions page.
You will need to re-register to vote after your felony conviction:
If you were previously registered to vote and were sentenced to prison, you will need to re-register to vote once you have served your maximum sentence or are released on parole.
If you have a federal felony conviction or a felony conviction in another state:
You may still register and vote in New York if you have a federal felony conviction, or a felony conviction in another state.