Bernie Sanders says states should allow felons to vote from behind bars

Bernie Sanders says states should allow felons to vote from behind bars

[Ed. – Does his proposal have anything to do with the disproportionate number of blacks in prison coupled with the fact that blacks vote Democrat the vast majority of the time?]

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.

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While most states disenfranchise felons, Sanders said the convicted still have a right to participate in elections.

“In my state, what we do is separate. You’re paying a price, you committed a crime, you’re in jail. That’s bad,” he said. “But you’re still living in American society and you have a right to vote. I believe in that, yes, I do.”

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked about the issue during a recent forum on rural issues in Storm Lake. She said felons who have served their time deserve the franchise. But Warren stopped short of saying those in prison should be able to vote.

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