F.03 Prisoner voting

Prisoners entitled to vote at general elections including referendums are provided the opportunity to vote.

Prisoner voting criteria

  1. Prisoners entitled to vote must be registered as electors.
  2. Prisoners on remand (not sentenced) are entitled to vote.
  3. Prisoners sentenced before 16 December 2010 to imprisonment are entitled to vote unless they are:
    1. not a New Zealand citizen
    2. not a permanent resident
    3. serving a sentence of life imprisonment
    4. serving a sentence of preventive detention
    5. serving a sentence of imprisonment of three (3) years or more
    6. detained in a hospital under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 or in a secure facility under the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003.
  4. Prisoners sentenced to imprisonment on or after 16 December 2010 are not entitled to vote.

F.03.01 Registering prisoners to vote

  1. The prison director when requested will provide suitable facilities to Local Returning Officers for the purpose of registering prisoners to vote.
  2. The prison director will identify all prisoners who are eligible to register to vote.
  3. The prison director will ensure that the visiting local returning officers are advised of the security and visiting (POM Visits to prisons) requirements expected of them, prior to their visit.

F.03.02 Rights of prisoners registered to vote

  1. Party political manifestos and policy materials delivered to prisons are readily available to prisoners.
  2. Prisoners are permitted to see or hear party political broadcasts that take place during each prison’s normal radio or television listening / viewing hours.
  3. However, political candidates (including members of Parliament) are not permitted to conduct meetings with prisoners or to canvas individual prisoners in relation to election issues.

F.03.03 Prisoner voting

  1. The prison director will provide suitable facilities to local returning officers and scrutineers to enable them to carry out their functions.
  2. The prison director must ensure that all prisoners who are eligible to vote are given the opportunity to vote.
  3. Prisoners who are eligible to vote and are undergoing the penalty of postponement of privileges or cell confinement must be given the opportunity to vote.