Government publishes details of plans to give prisoners the vote

Earlier today the Government laid out in detail how it plans to abide by a court ruling against the current ban on prisoners voting in elections.

The plans, due to be put to the vote in Parliament next year, separate prisoners into two categories – those sentenced to four years or longer (who will be banned from registering to vote) and those on shorter sentences, who will normally be entitled to register to vote but on sentencing a judge will have discretion to remove their right to vote also.

Prison fencePrisoners will vote on the basis of their address prior to entering prison, removing the issue that otherwise some constituencies where large jails are located would see a significant influx of prisoner voting.

Votes can be cast either by post or by proxy, without any intention of introducing polling stations in prisons.

Under these plans, the right to vote will only extend as far as Westminster and European elections.

An historical footnote: contrary to the Cabinet Office’s own press release, prisoners were entitled to vote briefly in the late 1960s in the UK.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in Election law and News.
Advert

8 Comments

  • TheContinentalOp 20th Dec '10 - 10:31pm

    How do these proposals comply with the actual court ruling? They seem more concerned with curtailing hysterical tabloid headlines rather than meeting the full requirements of the judgment.

  • Philip Rolle 20th Dec '10 - 10:33pm

    I believe that all prisoners should be able to vote. The length of the sentence shouldn’t come into it.

  • Simon McGrath 21st Dec '10 - 7:09am

    People who commit crimes which are serious enough for them to be sent to prison should lose their vote. If they want to vote they have a simple way to ensure they can do so – don’t commit the crime.

    This sort of thing just brings the HRA into disrepute.

  • Ian Sanderson (RM3) 21st Dec '10 - 8:28am

    “The plans, due to be put to the vote in Parliament next year, separate prisoners into two categories – those sentenced to four years or longer (who will be banned from registering to vote) and those on shorter sentences, who will normally be entitled to register to vote but on sentencing a judge will have discretion to remove their right to vote also.”
    I think this is really a bit of a fudge. I also think it is internally inconsistent. If taking on civic duty is a part of rehabilitating a prisoner into society and four years is a sort of magic time, the vote should surely be restored when the prisoner reaches being within four years of release.
    At present, is the vote be restored on full release or on de-facto release, such as parole?

  • Ian Sanderson (RM3) 21st Dec '10 - 9:00am

    I also think it is small minded to withhold the vote in National (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and English Regional (Greater London) elections.

  • More sensible would be adding judicial discretion to those convicted with sentences more than 4 years, for Westminster/EU elections alone, and allowing the right to vote in local elections for those with sentences less than 4 years, again subject to judicial discretion. After all, the prisoner may need their councillor’s assistance upon their release.

    If Jailhouselawyer is correct, UK.gov could be forced into making this change anyway. The absolute ban makes no sense at all.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRoland 25th Sep - 12:44am
    @David Raw & Nonconformistradical - I see you are missing the substantive point, not to say that your queries aren't valid, just that you seem...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 24th Sep - 11:44pm
    Good stuff, Mark. Public transport in London is unbelievably good. I know, I use it for part of the week for part of the year....
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 24th Sep - 11:41pm
    Martin, how could Britain remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union without accepting the four freedoms? And how stay in the Customs Union...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 24th Sep - 11:06pm
    @Roland I don't believe 'being British' - or adhering to the teachings of Christ - has anything to do with it. It's possible to 'do...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 24th Sep - 11:03pm
    Roland, when you can tell me where Christ forbad the type of change to the law proposed by Vince I'll take your comments seriously.
  • User AvatarTim Hill 24th Sep - 10:43pm
    Paul Barker - It's a gain. The seat was held by Labour. The Labour Cllr resigned. We won. A gain.