A new poll has revealed that a vast majority of Americans do not agree with Bernie Sanders that it is a good idea to let prisoners vote, while Sanders himself has suggested that it is a GOP ploy to oppose voting rights for inmates as a way of suppressing minority votes.
A survey conducted by Business Insider finds that only around 15 percent of Americans agree that murderers, child abusers, rapists, and even terrorists should be able to vote from their cells.
While 75 percent believe it to be a bad idea, another 10 percent said they “don’t know.”
“Based on our poll, approximately 35 percent of voters are supportive of enfranchising currently incarcerated people in some capacity, but most of these people aren’t willing to go as far as Sanders,” the Business Insider report notes.
“Beyond those that believe current prisoners should vote, roughly 30 percent said currently incarcerated people should lose their right to vote, but be re-enfranchised when they’re released. Twenty-four percent of respondents said those convicted of violent felonies should permanently lose voting rights.” the report adds.
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When divided along party lines, still less than half of Democrats agree with Sanders on the matter to some extent.
While Sanders has doubled down on the idea, arguing that those “still living in American society… have a right to vote,” other Democrats including Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have backed away from it.
Sanders, who says that even “terrible people” like the Boston Marathon bomber should be allowed to vote, argued Tuesday that President Donald Trump and Republicans are purposefully infringing on voting rights, and so all restrictions must be repealed.
“You pay a price when you commit a crime, but this is what I believe: At a time when the Republican Party and Donald Trump are working overtime to suppress the vote—to make it harder for people of color, poor people, young people to vote—we have got to make it clear, in my view, that if you are an American citizen, and even if you do something terrible, even if you’re a bad person, we cannot take away your right to vote whether you are in jail or whether you left jail,” Sanders said during a CNN interview.
Sanders then made the claim that not allowing terrorists and the like to vote is part of a conspiracy by Republicans to drive down minority voter turnout.
“Clearly, what Republicans are doing is trying to deny people of color the right to vote and this is an issue I think we have to address head-on,” he said.
“Even Democrats disagree with you,” host Brooke Baldwin shot back.
“I will oppose all efforts to try to deny Americans the right to participate in our democracy.” Sanders ranted, waving his finger at the camera.
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