Prisoners can vote – but not for police chiefs

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The Independent Online

Prisoners serving less than four years will in future retain the right to vote, the Government said yesterday.

In a deliberately low key announcement, ministers agreed to allow people sentenced to four years or less the right to vote in general elections and European Parliament elections, unless the sentencing judge removes it. But they will not be allowed to vote in local elections – or for the newly planned elected police chiefs.

Those sentenced to four years or more will automatically be barred from registering to vote.

Prisoners who vote would do so either by post or proxy. They will not be registered at the prison where they are held, but at their former address or an area where they have a local connection.

Meanwhile a man serving life for raping and murdering his niece lost his appeal yesterday over his right to vote while in jail. The Court of Appeal refused Peter Chester permission to go to the Supreme Court.