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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Times letter calling for voting reform

Times letter calling for voting reform


Your leader (“Losing count”, May 7) is right to highlight the Electoral Commission’s damning statement that the infrastructure of elections has barely changed since Victorian times. This is literally true of the disenfranchisement of sentenced prisoners. The ban dates back to the Forfeiture Act of 1870 and its origins are rooted in a notion of civic death.

In modernising the voting system, giving votes to those serving sentences of imprisonment will ensure that the Government complies with its legal requirements following successive European Court judgments. It will also demonstrate to those we are trying to rehabilitate that they still have a stake in society and may encourage our elected representatives to take more interest in penal affairs.

Geoff Dobson Deputy Director, Prison Reform Trust

n.b. Letter published in the Times 10 May 2010

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