Jalil Muntaqim Receives Voting Pardon, But Future of Court Case Uncertain


UPDATE 11/25/20--CITY News reports that the recent change to Muntaqim's voting rights status on a NYSDOCC website was "a clerical error." A spokesperson for the Governor's office, which processes the pardons, told CITY that Cuomo denied Muntaqim the voting rights pardon last week.


(ROCHESTER NY)--The man at the center of a GOP-generated voting controversy in Rochester has received a conditional pardon from the governor.

That's according to a NYS Department of Corrections website, which shows Jalil Muntaqim was issued a conditional pardon that restores his right to vote while on parole. The website was updated with the change within the last week.

The governor's office processes voting pardons for people on parole on a monthly basis as a matter of routine, in accordance with a 2018 Executive Order.

It's unclear whether this development will have any impact on a court case in which the Monroe County District Attorney claims Muntaqim broke the law by allegedly registering to vote in October, shortly after his release from prison.

Muntaqim's supporters have said the charges in that case, which include two felonies and one misdemeanor, are politically motivated.

The DA filed the charges in the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election, after local right-wing pundits and GOP leadership accused Muntaqim of voter fraud and called for his prosecution.

Muntaqim's mother has said publicly that he mistakenly filled out a voter registration form included in a stack of applications he received after his release to facilitate his return to the community.

Muntaqim had been scheduled to appear in Brighton Town Court Monday, but that court date was moved to next month.

With grand jury selection suspended in New York State due to rising COVID-19 rates, it's unclear when the case will move forward. Unless, of course, the charges are dropped or dismissed.


DARIEN LAMEN is news director/producer for Reclaiming the Narrative. He can be reached at wxirnews@gmail.com.