Voting rights for convicted felons including murders and those convicted of terrorist related charges made it to the main stage at a CNN town hall Monday night when a Harvard student asked Bernie Sanders whether he believed the Boston marathon bomber should have voting rights in prison.
Sanders responded that yes “even for terrible people,” ” I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy.”
Sanders response drew ire from many moderate Democrats and Republicans across social media platforms who disagree sharply with the Vermont Senator.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg took a different approach when asked the same question by Anderson Cooper of CNN. His response when asked the question was, “No, I don’t think so,” receiving cheers from the audience. “Part of the punishment is you lose certain rights.”
Buttigieg also made sure to let audience members know his point of view after a person serves their sentence. To that he said, “I do believe that…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.”
As Democratic hopefuls make their case early to voters across the country, this issue is one of many that highlights the divide between candidates.