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

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years 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 Ann WarrenWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years 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 ClintonWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 Poll: Warren leads Biden in Maine by 12 points MORE.

He finished behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio New study: Full-scale 'Medicare for All' costs trillion over 10 years MORE, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy, in a poll of likely caucusgoers in Iowa released last week.