Argument: Criminals forfeit the right to vote

Issue Report: Prisoners right to vote


Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Constitutional Affairs, Lord Firkin, said – “It has been the view of successive governments, including this government, that persons who have committed crimes serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence should forfeit the right to have a say in how the country is governed while they are detained. For many years it has been part of our society’s tradition that, when people are imprisoned, they lose a range of rights, one of which is the right to participate in elections.”[1]

Rabinder Singh, defending the position of the Home Secretary in the United Kingdom (2001) – “A democratic society can reasonably take the view that those who break its laws sufficiently seriously be sentenced to prison, forfeit the right to take part in the government of that society while they serve their sentences.”[2]