Prisoner voting consultation: analysis of responses

Analysis of the responses to the consultation on prisoner voting.

4. Other issues raised

Question 6: Do you have any other comments that have not been captured in the responses you have provided above?

4.1 Although a total of 111 respondents answered Question 6, only a small number of responses included material that has not already been covered at earlier questions, hence all points noted below were made by only one or a very small number of respondents.

Consultation process

4.2 Comments on the nature of consultation included that consideration could be given to further consulting prisoners on their views or that further research on the views of the prison population would be appropriate. It was noted that prisoners would not have had the opportunity to respond online to an online consultation.

4.3 It was also suggested that the consultation process would have been improved by a review of how the proposed changes would fit into the Scottish Government's wider penal policy, as set out in "Justice in Scotland: Vision and Priorities".

Referendums and consistency

4.4 It was argued both that any right to vote in Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections should, for consistency, be extended to referendums although also that, even if a right to vote in other elections were not available, an exception should be made to allow prisoners to vote in referendums.

4.5 Consistency in voting rights for prisoners between UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections in Scotland was also advocated.

Compulsion Orders

4.6 Clarification was sought on application of the proposals to people detained in secure psychiatric care on Compulsion Orders. It was noted that such individuals are currently denied the right to vote which, it was argued, adds stigma and runs counter to the idea that society should look after vulnerable people.

New voting technologies

4.7 Potential modernisation of the electoral process to include new technologies around "eVoting" and "live" electronic registers was suggested to create both opportunities and challenges with respect to prisoner voting. It was argued that current debates on new technology and electoral reform should take account of any intention to extend the franchise to prisoners.



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