On the 125th anniversary of women exercising suffrage for the first time in NZ, the support party has called for a change in the law that sees incarcerated people ‘unjustifiably denied the right to vote’. The Green Party has added its voice to a growing call for a change in the law that denies people in prison the chance to vote, using parliamentary question time to urge Justice Minister Andrew Little to revisit an issue he has described as “not a priority”. The party’s move follows a landmark decision in the Supreme Court earlier this month and the launch of a campaign today by JustSpeak.
In the house today, Green justice spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman will ask the Minister of Justice: “Will he concede that on the 125th anniversary of women first voting, there are still New Zealanders unjustifiably denied the right to vote, and commit to overturning the ban on voting for people in prison?”
People incarcerated in New Zealand have been denied the right to vote since 2010, when parliament passed a member’s bill put forward by Paul Quinn of the National Party. Between 1993 and 2010, prisoners serving less than a three year sentence were entitled to vote.