At a campaign rally in Fort Worth, Texas, presidential hopeful and self-described Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) accused President Donald Trump and Republican governors of trying to suppress votes while advocating for convicted and incarcerated prisoners to have the right to vote.
“If you commit a terrible crime, you’re going to pay the price,” Sanders said. “That does not mean that your right to participate in our democracy is taken away from you.”
Sanders acknowledged that his advocacy for criminal voting rights was “roundly criticized.”
“And I was roundly criticized for this, but you know what? Once you begin taking away somebody’s right to vote you’re moving down a slippery slope,” Sanders said.
Then Sanders went on to compare a criminal’s right to vote with women, the poor, and African Americans having that right.
“You’ve committed a crime, you can’t vote. You’re poor, you can’t vote. Remember a hundred years ago women in America didn’t have the right to vote,” Sanders said.
“Remember 70 years ago our African American brothers and sisters had to put their lives on the line to get the right to vote,” Sanders said. “Remember the poll taxes all across this country denying poor people the right to vote.”
Then he blamed Republicans and Trump for trying to stop people from voting.
“And what we are seeing now and make no mistake about it: this is what Trump is about, and this is what Republican cowardly governors all over America are about.”
“What we believe – unlike our Republican friends we are not afraid of our ideas,” Sanders said. “We think that people support our agenda.”
“We don’t have to suppress the vote, in fact, we want more people to vote,” Sanders said — including those behind bars.
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