The Wellington Howard League’s “Let Prisoners Vote” petition, presented to Parliament by Wellington Central MP, the Hon. Grant Robertson, will be tabled in the House on Tuesday 21 May before question time.
The over two thousand people who have signed the petition are asking Parliament to repeal section 80(1)(d) of the Electoral Act 1993 to enable all New Zealand prisoners to be eligible to vote in New Zealand elections. Over half of the people who signed the petition are prisoners. The Howard League believes that this might be the first petition with such high levels of prisoner support. The Wellington Howard League began the petition because it believes the current law is wrong.
“There are so many good reasons to give prisoners the vote” said Christine McCarthy, President Wellington Howard League. “Voting keeps people involved in their community, something vital for successful prisoner reintegration. It engages people with our law-making processes – why keep the law if you can’t vote for the people who make the law?”