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Call to back up high-turnout jail voters
Pic: RollingNews.ie

26 Apr 2024 / justice Print

Call to back up high-turnout jail voters

Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has written to prison governors asking them to put in place measures to support registration and facilitate voting in prisons.

The organisation’s call comes ahead of the local and European elections on 7 June.

The trust points out that the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2006 provides the legal basis for the enfranchisement of all individuals in the custody of the prison estate.

It adds, however, that, for people in prison, the vindication of the right to vote is “largely reliant” on prison governors and the IPS.


It says that voting can take place by postal vote within the prison, and no home address is needed for registration. Constituency registration is needed, however.

“Relevant forms must be made available in prisons to allow for individuals to register for a postal vote. People should also be facilitated in checking the electoral register to check that they are registered to vote,” the IPRT states.

It adds that governors will also need to confirm that a person will be in prison on polling day and unable to vote in the community.

The right to vote was facilitated and exercised for the first time by those in prisons in 2007 elections.

The IPRT cites research showing that 71.4% of eligible prisoners voted in 2007, compared with 67% of registered voters in the national population.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland