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News10NBC Investigates: Recently paroled felon registered to vote, the system caught his name

Berkeley Brean
Updated: October 22, 2020 06:26 PM
Created: October 22, 2020 06:22 PM

BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — News10NBC looked into how a convicted murderer, released from state prison on parole two weeks ago, ended up as a registered voter in Brighton. The head of the Republican Party in Monroe County wrote a letter to the Monroe County district attorney asking her to investigate.

Anthony Bottom spent 44 years in prison for killing two New York City police officers. Within 24 hours of getting out of prison, a voter registration form was submitted to the Monroe County Board of Elections with the parolee's signature.

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The head of Republican Party in the county believes that was a crime.

Bottom was paroled on Oct. 7 and moved into a home in Brighton.

On Oct. 8 his voter registration was submitted in person at the board of elections. Bottom was listed on the voter roll on Oct. 9.

Bill Napier, Chair, Monroe County Republican Party: "By the simple act of registering to vote he committed several crimes."

On the registration form, it says you cannot register if you're in prison or on parole for a felony. 

And when applicants sign they affirm they've "lived in the county for 30 days before the election" and they "meet all requirements to register to vote."

I checked Bottom's parolee status and next to "voting pardon issued" it says "no."

The registration warns if what you signed isn't true you can face criminal conviction, a $5,000 fine and up to four years in prison. 

Napier: "What I'm asking the district attorney to do is to investigate this and make a determination of the crimes that were committed in doing so. I believe there were multiple felonies and multiple crimes committed."

Thursday I went to the address in Brighton listed on Bottom's voter application. A person who came to the door took my phone number but no one has called me.

We wondered: Does the system catch something like this?

When I spoke to Lisa Nicolay, the Republican election commissioner, she said it did. 

Here's what Nicolay says happened. 

On Friday, Oct. 16, the list of new voters in Monroe County was sent to the state board of elections. 

The state cross-referenced it with a list of felons. 

Bottom's name was "flagged."

The flag was sent back to the county board of elections. 

The county board mailed a letter to Bottoms giving him 14 days to "give a reason why you should not be canceled." 

Two days ago, the state confirmed the governor hasn't pardoned Bottom, which would make him eligible to vote, and the state purged his name from the voter roll. 

The district attorney's office told me they received the letter from Napier and they are looking into it.


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