Democrat presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said Thursday she is “not there yet” on allowing prisoners to vote, but suggested that she may be open to the idea in the future.
Warren was questioned at a New Hampshire town hall whether she agreed with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) notion that “terrible people,” such as convicted terrorists, rapists, murderers, and other felons should have the right to vote from prison.
“So, I am completely on board for people having the right to vote once they’ve left prison, once they’ve served their debt, but while they’re still in prison, there’s a lot of your rights that are suspended when you’re in prison, and I’m just not there on that one,” Warren told the town hall audience. “Not there yet.”
In April, Warren affirmed she believes that those who have paid “their debt to society” should once again be allowed to vote and insisted a “conversation” was needed about those who are still incarcerated.
Sanders, who believes voting is “inherent to our democracy” represents Vermont in the United States Senate. Vermont and Maine are the only two states that allow prisoners to vote.
Several polls have shown that the American people do not agree with the notion of allowing incarcerated prisoners to vote.
Another poll by YouGov found that 65 percent of Americans disagree with Sanders’s statement that all prisoners, including “terrible people” like the Boston Marathon bomber, should be allowed to vote.
In May, former House Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) made similar statements to Warren in a CNN article.
“I would think especially for nonviolent offenders that we rethink removing the right to vote and allow everyone, or as many as possible, to participate in our democracy,” O’Rourke stated. “For violent criminals, it’s much harder for me to reach that conclusion.”