Prisoners: Voting Rights

Justice written question – answered on 11th January 2010.

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Photo of Eric Pickles Eric Pickles Party Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what procedures the Prison Service has in place to enable foreign nationals in UK prisons to vote by post in overseas elections where they have such a right.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Government Equalities Office), Minister of State (Government Equalities Office) (also in the Ministry of Justice)

Foreign nationals, including EU citizens, who are eligible to vote in their home state according to that country's domestic law, will be given such reasonable assistance by the National Offender Management Service as is practicable to enable them to exercise their right to vote while in prison, which would principally concern the appropriate handling of postal votes. Currently, any such assistance would be handled at local level and, therefore, figures for the number of foreign national prisoners requesting assistance is not held centrally. However, NOMS are not aware of significant numbers of individuals requesting assistance and it is not anticipated that this assistance would require significant funding. The responsibility remains with the individual both to register to vote, and to vote.

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