Prisoner Voting Rights: Submissions to the Select Committee: 20 April, 2020
Prisoner Voting Rights: Submissions to the Select Committee: 20 April, 2020Prisoner Voting Rights: Submissions to the Select Committee: 20 April, 2020
With submissions on the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill closing this Friday, Bronnie sheds light on the contentious issue of prisoner voting rights.
Among other changes, the Bill would reform the 2010 prisoner voting ban, reinstating the right to vote for those serving sentences of less than three years. As well as the usual debates that accompany an issue of constitutional gravity such as this, there has been particular criticism of the speed at which the government is progressing this reform in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This report begins with a brief history of prisoner voting rights in New Zealand: from the 1993 Electoral Act, to the 2010 reform and subsequent Waitiangi Tribunal report and Taylor v Attorney General Supreme Court case. We then hear excerpts from the Parliamentary debate at the first reading of Andrew Little's proposed Bill. Lastly are the highlights from the first round of oral public submissions to the Justice Select Committee which was held via Zoom.
Public submissions on the Bill close on the 24th of April.