The States debated a bill this week intended to extend the right to vote in Jersey to several groups presently excluded from the franchise. Among them are women, until now neither able to vote nor sit in the States Assembly as members.
Britain has already made the move in February, its Representation of the People Act 1918 extending the vote to women over 30 who own property. Now it’s Jersey’s time to follow, according to the States deputy who introduced the new bill.
In the relatively short time since his election, Deputy Gray has taken a firm, challenging anti-establishment line in Jersey politics, founding the Jersey Political Association, a movement dedicated to equality, fairness and the working classes. His proposal would extend voting rights to every British male subject in Jersey who has reached 30 and who contributes to States’ revenues, every service man aged 20 and above and to women over the age of 30 who conduct business and generally contribute to government revenues.
While the States listened politely to arguments, the feeling was against making a hasty decision. Instead, members referred the matter to a committee formed to examine options.
D/AP/U/88 contains a petition dating to 1913 with the aim of providing Jersey women with the right to vote.