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The Democratic debate over letting people in prison vote, explained




The latest debate in the 2020 presidential race has exposed the limits of how far Democrats are willing to go on voting rights.


It began with a question to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), from a volunteer with the American Civil Liberties Union at an Iowa town hall in April: Should people in prison be allowed to vote?


Sanders said yes, and then doubled down on his answer. At a CNN town hall a couple weeks later, Sanders was asked if the Boston marathon bomber should be allowed to vote — and, again, said yes. In a USA Today op-ed, he defended his position, arguing that “the right to vote is an inalienable and universal principle that applies to all American citizens 18 years and older. Period.”



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