Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has granted conditional pardons to dozens of convicted sex offenders "deemed too dangerous to be returned to the community" so they can vote, says a report from left-leaning outlet the New York Daily News.
Under a new policy which grants conditional pardons to some 24,000 parolees, at least 77 have been confirmed as convicted sexual predators, including rapists, pedophiles, and a man known as the "voodoo rapist."
Hector Aviles, 61, AKA the voodoo rapist, "was convicted of second-degree rape in Westchester County in 2008 after telling three of his victims — the oldest of whom was 16 — that if they participated in a sexual 'ritual' with him, he could help them with their problems. If they didn’t, he said, bad things would happen to them and their families," says the report.
Records show that the sex offenders were "sent to civil confinement in state psychiatric hospitals after their prison time was up."
Republicans are blasting Cuomo for shamelessly granting the pardons in exchange for more votes.
"This is hands-down the most egregious public policy misstep Andrew Cuomo has made in his eight years as governor, and it shows that he will do virtually anything for a few extra votes," slammed Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan of Suffolk County.
"This policy rewards the worst of the worst sexual predators and lowlifes in our society and undermines the integrity of our voting system in every way, shape and form," he added.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Jim Maxwell, Republican candidate for New York's 25th Congressional District, blasted Cuomo on social media. "This story is sickening," he wrote. "Governor Cuomo pardoned at least 77 sexual predators just so they could go out and vote for him. A good chunk of the newly-pardoned predators were deemed unfit to return to society, so they've been kept in psychiatric hospitals since their release so they can't go out and hurt anyone else."
Maxwell also smacked Albany Democrats, accusing them of stopping "at nothing to maintain their grip on power. They'll even unleash sexual predators just to gain a few votes."
When the program was first announced, it was discovered that at least one of those up for conditional pardon was convicted cop killer Herman Bell.
Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi maintains that the program is all on the up-and-up: "It’s unfortunate that some are using the issue of restoring voting rights to fearmonger," he said.
"'The order was straightforward and put New York on par with Washington, D.C., and 18 other states — including such liberal bastions as Utah' that either never take away voting rights from convicts or restore them upon their release from prison," he added, according to the New York Daily News.