Green Party urges Justice Minister Andrew Little to give prisoners right to vote

The Green Party is calling on Justice Minister Andrew Little to allow prisoners to have the right to vote. 

It comes after The Supreme Court ruled that the 2010 law change denying prisoners that right is inconsistent with The Bill of Rights.

Green Party Justice spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman says banning prisoners from voting during elections undermines democracy, and denies prisoners a fundamental right.

She is urging the Minister to make this a priority. 

"In years gone by, people in prison have been allowed to engage in democracy and all sides of politics have expressed support for this at one time or another," Ms Ghahraman says. 

Allowing prisoners to vote would be a simple change that would increase their community engagement, she says. 

"Incarceration should not exempt you from the democratic process."

In 2010, the then-National-led government made it law that prisoners did not have the right to vote.

Earlier this month, prisoners fighting for that right had a big legal win following the Supreme Court ruling. 

Inmate Arthur Taylor, who was a part of the group of prisoners arguing to allow prisoners to vote, told Newshub the Supreme Court ruling was met with cheers from inmates when they heard of the decision. 


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