Prisoner voting ban "indefensible"


After the Equalities and Human Rights Committee heard evidence on the need to lift the ban on prisoner voting, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Deputy Convenor and Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP, commented: 

"The prisoner voting ban is indefensible. It flouts international law and is neither fair nor progressive. No other developed European democracy does it. 

"The Scottish Parliament has the power to deliver change. Liberal Democrats tabled amendments to give prisoners the vote in both the Independence Referendum and the 2016 elections but our attempts were voted down. 

"We know that to reduce reoffending more must be done to prepare offenders to rejoin our communities. An important part of that is ensuring they are more aware of their responsibilities as citizens, not alienating them altogether."

Liberal Democrats tabled amendments to lift the blanket ban on prisoner voting at Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the Bill of the Scottish Independence Referendum (Franchise) Bill: 

When the voting age was reduced to 16 for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, Liberal Democrats tabled amendments that would have also given the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds in young offenders institutions.


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