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Sanders Has News Felons Might Like

The Vermont senator says they should be allowed to vote in prison
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2019 5:00 PM CDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign stop, Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Aldo Leopold Middle School in Burlington, Iowa.   (John Lovretta/The Hawk Eye via AP)

(Newser) – Bernie Sanders wants felons to have a say, too. The Vermont senator and presidential candidate said Saturday at an Iowa town hall that people convicted of felonies should be allowed to vote from behind bars, the Des Moines Registers reports. "I think that is absolutely the direction we should go," he said. Right now, only Vermont and Maine allow felons to cast a vote in prison. "You’re paying a price, you committed a crime, you're in jail," he said in Muscatine. "That's bad. But you're still living in American society and you have a right to vote. I believe in that, yes, I do."

That makes Sanders the only candidate to voice such an opinion, Newsweek notes. Asked recently about voting-from-prison, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she was open to felons voting after they've served their time. "While they’re incarcerated, I think that’s something we can have more conversation about," she said. As it stands, only Iowa and Kentucky allow felons to vote after they've served their time—and only with the governor's permission, per the Hill. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, pushed this year for that right to become automatic, but the plan was crushed this week by the GOP-controlled Senate. (Read more felons stories.)

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