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Bernie Sanders says felons should be able to vote while in prison

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (I-Vt.) this weekend reportedly called for more states to join Vermont and Maine in allowing imprisoned felons to vote.

"I think that is absolutely the direction we should go," Sanders said at a town hall in Muscatine, Iowa, when asked if more states should extend the vote to felons currently behind bars, according to the Des Moines Register.

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"In my state, what we do is separate. You’re paying a price, you committed a crime, you’re in jail. That's bad," he said. "But you’re still living in American society and you have a right to vote.

"I believe in that, yes, I do.”

Sanders’s fellow presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Government watchdog to investigate allegations of Trump interference at CDC, FDA MORE (D-Mass.), said recently that she endorsed enfranchising felons who have served their sentence, but did not go as far as the Vermont senator regarding voting rights for those currently behind bars, the newspaper noted.

"While they’re incarcerated, I think that’s something we can have more conversation about," she said in Storm Lake, Iowa, according to the Register.

Iowa, along with Kentucky, is currently one of two states in which felons can only vote with the governor’s permission, according to the newspaper. In late March, the state House passed an amendment endorsed by Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) that would automatically re-enfranchise felons once their sentences are complete but the measure was voted down by the state Senate, it added.

Sanders pulled out an unexpected win in the 2016 Iowa caucuses ahead of eventual Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonLate night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study 10 steps toward better presidential debating Continuity is (mostly) on the menu for government contracting in the next administration MORE.

He finished behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy, in a poll of likely caucusgoers in Iowa released last week.