Political

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.

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.

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