The Green Party is calling on the Justice Minister to ensure improved prisoner rehabilitation and integration by allowing people in prison to cast their vote during elections.
“Today is 125 years since New Zealand women first went to the polls, yet to this day there are New Zealanders still denied from casting their vote”, Green spokesperson on Justice Golriz Ghahraman said today.
“This is because in 2010 the National Party banned all people in prison from casting their vote.
“This further excludes them from processes that engage them in society, making rehabilitation harder.
“It undermines democracy and removes fundamental rights, which has been confirmed by the majority of the Supreme Court, who believe the ban should be overturned.
“Our justice system disproportionately targets Māori and lower socio-economic communities, this doubles down on existing prejudice and rights breaches.
“That’s why, the Green Party is calling on the Minister of Justice to return the vote to people in prison.
“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.
“This would be a simple change that would engage people in prison more in their community, incarceration should not exempt you from the democratic process.
“I urge the Minister to prioritise this change“.