Original Date
2019-04-22
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Monday night said he supported the voting rights of felons, including the Boston Marathon bomber who killed four people and injured 264 others during the 2013 attack.

Anne Carlstein, a Harvard University student, asked Sanders at a CNN town hall in Manchester, N.H. about recent comments supporting felons and sex offenders voting while in prison.

"Does this mean you would support enfranchising people like the Boston Marathon bomber, a convicted terrorist and murderer. Do you think those convicted of sexual assault should have the opportunity to vote for politicians who could have a direct impact on women's rights?" Carlstein asked.

Sanders, who is running for president as a Democrat, prefaced his response by talking about how his campaign is seeking to create a "vibrant democracy." He claimed the United States has one of the lowest voter turnouts and that he wants to have one of the highest voter turnouts.

Sanders then used the same talking points he used at the Fox News town hall last week, saying "cowardly Republican governors" are trying to suppress the vote. He used the New Hampshire governor and legislature as an example and claimed they are trying to suppress the vote of young people.

"Anne to answer your question, as it happens in my own state of Vermont, from the very first days of our state's history, what our Constitution says is that everybody can vote," Sanders said. "If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they're going to be punished. They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That's what happens when you commit a serious crime, but I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people."