Not all persons in prison should be denied voting rights, Symister says, and to such a practice is not justified

Not all persons who find themselves in prison should be disqualified from voting, says attorney-at-law Leon Chaku Symister.

The election laws specifically outline the three categories of persons who are ineligible to vote:  those certified as mentally ill, those serving a prison sentence, and those facing the death penalty.

Accordingly, Symister says the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission can disqualify persons on those grounds.

However, those who are on remand or in prison pending an appeal are not serving a prison term, Symister points out.   

The practice has always been to deny persons in prison the right to vote, he acknowledges, but this is not justified, Symister says.