During Monday night’s CNN town hall event, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders maintained his position on granting voting rights for criminals, including those in prison, including those who are convicted sexual assaulters and even people like the Boston Marathon bomber.
When asked by Harvard student Anne Carlstein if he could still give voting rights to those like Dzhokar Tsarnaev the Boston Marathon bomber, and those convicted of sexual assault and even if it means those votes would have a “direct impact on women’s rights.”
Bernie Sanders response was that he wanted a higher voter turnout and that, “If somebody commits a serious crime- sexual assault, murder, they’re gonna be punished. 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, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘That guy committed a terrible crime, not gonna let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not gonna let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope. So, I believe that people who commit crimes, they pay the price. When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right the vote, but I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”