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Pete Buttigieg breaks with Bernie Sanders on allowing felons to vote from prison

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 4/23/2019 Emily Larsen
Peter Buttigieg holding a sign © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg rejected Bernie Sanders' position in favor of allowing convicted terrorists, rapists, and pedophiles to vote while they are in prison.

"No. I don't think so," the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said Monday evening in response to CNN host Anderson Cooper's question on whether felons should retain the right to vote while incarcerated.

Sanders, a senator from Vermont, said in an earlier CNN Democratic presidential candidate town hall that he believes felons like the Boston marathon bomber should be able to vote from prison.

"Part of the punishment when you are convicted of a crime and you're incarcerated is you lose certain rights. You lose your freedom," Buttigieg said. "And I think during that period, it does not make sense to have an exception the right to vote."

Buttigieg said he does believe voting rights should be restored after felons reenter society.

"I do believe that when you get out, 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 you know some states and communities to do it, some don't. I think we would be a better country if everybody did it," Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg also suggested some Republicans oppose felons voting because the former convicts will not support the GOP.

"Frankly, I think the motivations for preventing that kind of reenfranchisement, in some cases, have to do with one side of the aisle noticing they politically benefit from that, and that's got some racial layers to it," Buttigieg said.


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