The Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill was introduced on 25 February 2020. Minister for Justice Andrew Little is in charge of the bill.
The bill amends the Electoral Act 1993 to enfranchise people are serving a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than three years, and better facilitate participation in the electoral system of system of prisoners who are to be released from prison following a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 3 years or more.
Part 1 contains amendments relating to disqualification of sentenced prisoners for registration was electors. Clause 5 amends section 80 (1) so that prisoners serving a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than 3 years will no longer be disqualified from registering as electors. Prisoners detained for longer continue to be disqualified.
Part 2 contains amendments relating to registration of sentenced prisoners as electors. Clause 7 inserts new sections 86A and 86B to require prison managers to advise prisoners who are serving a term of imprisonment of less than 3 years, and prisoners after serving a sentence of imprisonment for a term of 3 years or more who are to be released, about registering as electors and to ask whether they want their enrolment details sent to the Electoral Commission.
The Act comes into force the day after the date of Royal assent.