2020 hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing for felons to vote…from behind bars.
The Des Moines Register reported that while Iowa struggles on whether to restore voting rights to felons who have completed their prison sentences, Sen. Bernie Sanders said people convicted of felonies should never lose access to the ballot box in the first place.
At a town hall meeting in Muscatine’s West Middle School gymnasium Saturday, the Vermont senator was asked whether the imprisoned should have the right to vote. Only his home state and Maine allow felons to vote from behind bars.
“I think that is absolutely the direction we should go,” he said.
The issue of felons voting has become a national debate.
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Iowans have been debating whether to restore voting rights to convicted felons who have paid their debt to society. But at a town hall meeting at Muscatine West Middle School in Iowa on Saturday, 202o presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said felons should never lose the right to vote in the first place.
The Des Moines Register reported that only in Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont and in Maine are convicted felons allowed to vote from behind bars.
“I think that is absolutely the direction we should go,” Sanders said.
“While most states disenfranchise felons, Sanders said the convicted still have a right to participate in elections,” the Register reported.
“In my state, what we do is separate,” Sanders said. “You’re paying a price, you committed a crime, you’re in jail. That’s bad.”
“But you’re still living in American society and you have a right to vote,” Sanders said. “I believe in that, yes, I do.”
One of his competitors, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has said allowing felons to vote from behind bars needs more consideration.
“While they’re incarcerated, I think that’s something we can have more conversation about,” Warren said.