Bernie Sanders is known for pushing bold ideas in his presidential campaigns, such as Medicare for all, pushing for measures to combat climate change, and advocating for the middle class during a time when it is nearly disappearing altogether.
Bernie Sanders has been a long time believer in allowing felons in prison to vote during their sentences and believes it is a system the entire country should embrace. There are currently only 2 states in the United States that allow felons to vote while incarcerated, Maine and Sanders’ home state of Vermont. It is also his belief that this should be happening across all 50 states.
Unfortunately, that is not the case currently. Most states prohibit felons from voting while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation, with the toughest states revoking voting rights from felons even after all time has been served across the board.
His reasoning? Simple. If you’re still an American citizen, even if you have committed a crime, you should always keep your right to vote. If your citizenship is not being revoked, neither should your right to vote.
His comments were presented during a town hall held in Iowa. They are not surprising ones to hear from Sanders, who has long been an advocate of prison reform. There has also been a push this year from the ACLU asking candidates to include allowing people who have been incarcerated to vote as apart of their policy goals.
In 2016, over 6 million people were not allowed to vote in the presidential election due to having felony convictions. This demonstrates just how many people are perpetually prevented from voting, and brings to question just how big of an impact that voting group could potentially have moving forward.