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Many Chinese Prisoners Retain Right to Vote

The Constitution of China guarantees every citizen the right to vote unless that right has been removed by law. In China?s 2,700-man Qingpu Prison, 723 prisoners retained the right to vote in the December 2006, election for the people?s congress of Qinpu District in Shanghai.

To facilitate the prisoners? voting, a prison official briefed the prisoners on the candidates and proclaimed that ?every elector must cherish the right to vote and vote for the people you support.? All 723 voted.

Warden Wu Qi said that preparations for the election had included raising awareness among prisoners about the election and their right to vote in it, noting that maintaining prisoners? voting rights showed political democracy in his country.

?They were put it prison because they broke the law. However, their legal rights are still protected,? said Wu.

While many European countries, Canada and South Africa allow prisoners to vote, only Maine and Vermont allow prisoners to vote. Indeed, many states disenfranchise former prisoners, parolees and probationers from voting.

Source: People?s Daily

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