Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that he would restore voting rights to paroled felons through pardons, the New York Times reports.
Cuomo was at the National Action Network’s annual convention in New York City when he revealed the news. The move would give 35,000 felons on parole the ability to vote.
“I’m unwilling to take no for an answer,” Cuomo said at the convention, where Rev. Al Sharpton introduced him. “I’m going to make it law by executive order. With active intervention, we can bend the arc toward justice.”
The Republican-controlled New York State Senate has rejected Cuomo’s efforts for criminal reform, according to the Times. His executive order to restore voting rights won’t change state law, which blocks convicted felons from voting unless they’re on probation or finished their parole.
Cuomo is currently going up against Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon, who announced she would challenge Cuomo for governor.