The legislation will also extend to around 55,000 foreign nationals legally resident in Scotland, including refugees and successful asylum seekers. The Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Bill follows the move to give voting rights to 16 and 17-year-olds. It will include measures that would allow prisoners serving sentences of 12 months or less to cast their ballot. According to the most recent figures from 2017/18, this would include 101 violent criminals convicted of attempted murder or serious assault and 73 robbers. There were also 98 sexual offenders sentenced to 12 months or less, as well as 329 people convicted of handling offensive weapons and 479 drug offenders. There is a blanket ban that prevents convicted prisoners from voting in the UK but the European Court of Human Rights ruled against this 15 years ago. Ever since, successive governments north and south of the Border have resisted changing the law and the Scottish Government blocked prisoners from taking part in the 2014 independence referendum. At the time, Nicola Sturgeon said: “The government is very clear that we don’t think convicted prisoners who are serving a prison sentence should be able to vote in a referendum process.” Last night, Scottish Lib Dem… Read full this story
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