IN Europe, prisoners voting rights are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Twenty-six European countries at least partially protect their incarcerated citizens right to vote during their prison terms.

Eighteen countries grant prisoners the vote regardless of their offense.

In 2005, Britain tried to withdraw voting rights for prisoners, but the European Court of Human Rights struck that down as a violation of Human Rights.

In 2002, the Canadian Supreme Court also protected its prisoners' right to vote, South Africa has repeatedly reaffirmed the voting rights of its felons, and in 2010, Kenya guaranteed the same.

In democracies the world over, being incarcerated does not strip someone of  of citizenship and the  voting rights  that comes with it. Instead, while people are being punished for their crimes, they are encouraged to take their duties as citizens in a  democracy seriously.

In North Macedonia, the day before elections are held for the general public, polling stations are set up inside the country's 13 prisons, and inmates voluntarily lineup to vote in turn.

Ballots are brought from each prisoner's home voting district so that they can vote in their proper municipality.

Ahead of the country's recent referendum, election administrators even created a program to renew expired voting documents for incarcerated people.

In Ukraine's presidential elections last month, prisons held voters-education programs, so that inmates could learn about each of the candidates policy platform.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, where citizens live with the trauma of ethnic cleansing, prisoners can vote unless their crimes pertain to the Bosnian War of the early 1990s.

Those who have been convicted of unrelated crimes cast their ballots in prison polling stations. But as in North Macedonia, their votes count in the district of  of their permanent residence.

Portugal's prisoners have the right to vote unless they have been convicted of a crime that targets the state or democratic order, like terrorism or political violence.

[Germany and Norway have similar rules]

Portuguese prisoners can exercise their voting rights by requesting and then remitting their ballot by mail.

In Ireland and Lithuania, prisoners also vote by mail.

In election assessments, observers do not merely look for stuffed ballot boxes or irregularities in vote counting - but try to understand whether a country is doing its best to make sure that all of its citizens who want to are able to cast their vote.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on Voting From Prisons, continues to part 2.

The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Aubrey Menarndt, a specialist consultant on democracy and governance throughout the world.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!