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Prisoner voting ban needs to be repealed

National needs to immediately bring legislation to the House which lifts the ban on the right of prisoners to vote, said the Green Party.

National needs to immediately bring legislation to the House which lifts the ban on the right of prisoners to vote, said the Green Party.

The High Court today ruled that the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010, which stops prisoners from voting, is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act.

“This is an unprecedented ruling by the High Court which has made a declaration that there is an inconsistency between the Bill of Rights Act and not allowing prisoners to vote,” said Green Party justice spokesperson David Clendon.

“National now needs to immediately introduce legislation that will make our laws consistent with the Court’s ruling and our human rights obligations.

“National passed terrible law through Paul Quinn’s Private Member’s Bill and it has been widely condemned; now they need to undo the damage.

“The Green Party has said all along that banning prisoners from voting is a breach of their fundamental human rights and now the courts agree.

"Human rights are not a ‘nice to have’, they are a ‘must have’,” said Mr Clendon.