Bernie Sanders: Convicts Including Murders, Rapists, and Child Traffickers Should Be Allowed to Vote from Prison
Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said he thinks felons and convicts, including rapists and murderers, should be allowed to vote in American elections. Sanders was pressed on whether it was appropriate to enfranchise sex offenders or someone convicted of a heinous crimes. He believes it is a slippery slope to leave anyone out.
“Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope,”
The issue came up at a CNN town hall in New Hampshire.
A Harvard junior asked Sanders if he supports voting rights for all convicted felons, including Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 25, who was sentenced to death for carrying out the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The bombings wounded more than 260 and killed three people.
Sanders had said earlier this month that he believes convicted felons should be able to vote even when they are still behind bars.
“I believe even if they are in jail, they’re paying the price to society, that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy,” Sanders added.
“This is what I believe,” the presidential candidate said. “Do you believe in democracy? Do you believe every single American 18 years of age or older who is an American citizen should have the right to vote?”
“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they’re going to be punished,” he said. “They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.”
He went on to play the old line that republicans are trying to make it hard to vote.
Other Democrat hopefuls, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg were also posed questions at another event about whether or not to allow convicted felons the right to vote while they are serving their sentences.
“I think we should have that conversation,” Harris said, adding that voting rights should not be “stripped” needlessly.
“I have long been an advocate of making sure people formerly incarcerated are not denied the right to vote,” Harris said. “In some states they’re permanently deprived of the right to vote.”
Buttigieg didn’t hesitate when asked whether felons should be allowed to vote white serving their sentences.
“No,” he said. “I do believe that when you are, when you have served your sentence, then part of being restored to society is that you are part of the political life of this nation again and one of the things that needs to be restored is your right to vote.”
There is a reason, that we do not let incarcerated people vote, a few in fact. The big one to me is that you will open up prisons to another item that can be abused. Both by inmates and employees.
But the left is basically just trying to find as many votes as they can, to retain power. It doesn’t hurt an inmate, to have to wait, until they are released, to vote. They have little availability of resources to investigate their vote anyway.
I just do not think this plays well for Bernie.