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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike House set for tight vote on COVID-19 relief package On The Money: Democrats scramble to save minimum wage hike | Personal incomes rise, inflation stays low after stimulus burst 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 WarrenExclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm 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 ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE.

He finished behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy, in a poll of likely caucusgoers in Iowa released last week.