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Lithuanian Prisoners to get a Chance to vote

Vilnius, July 17 (RFE/RL) -- The Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs says it is trying to make sure prison inmates will be able to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Arunas Serksnas, director of the ministry's Department of Rehabilitation Centre of Penitentiaries, said convicts are also citizens of Lithuania and have the right to exercise their franchise.

The problem is, according to Serksnas, more than 5,000 inmates do not have citizenship cards, which are required to cast a ballot.

Serksnas said the processing of the identity cards takes one to three months and even if the ministry worked quickly, it could only hope to process half the necessary applications.

Ministry officials met today to discuss how to streamline the process to make as many prisoners as possible eligible to vote in the election.