The Scottish Government has today launched a consultation on prisoner voting.
In a written answer the Scottish Government has confirmed that it intends to give prisoners the vote but seek views on the appropriate length of term prisoners would be serving.
Scottish Conservative equalities spokesman Annie Wells said:
“The Scottish Conservatives are the only party that oppose prisoners having the right to vote.
“The committee report correctly identified that there are significant logistical difficulties with organising voting in prison, regardless of the length of sentence.
“Our focus is on ensuring that victims are the centre of our justice system, not the criminal.
“Along with the presumption against sentences of less than 12 months, this proposal is another soft-touch justice message from the SNP.
“Our message is clear. If you break the law and require to be removed from society, you will not be allowed to vote.”
Notes to editors:
The full parliamentary answer is below -
S5W-20590 Fulton MacGregor (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to publish its proposed consultation on prisoners voting in devolved elections in Scotland.
Michael Russell: I am pleased to announce the publication today of our Consultation on Prisoner Voting.
In response to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee report, the Scottish Government announced that a consultation on prisoner voting would be launched before the end of the year. The consultation paper, published today, sets out the Scottish Government’s proposal for ensuring compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights on the matter of prisoners voting.
The proposal is to enfranchise only those prisoners on short sentences. Views are sought on the appropriate length of term.
The consultation will run for a 12 week period to seek views on prisoner voting in Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections. After the consultation has closed, the responses will be analysed and a report published. The Scottish Government will then advise of next steps.