Iowans have been debating whether to restore voting rights to convicted felons who have paid their debt to society. But at a town hall meeting at Muscatine West Middle School in Iowa on Saturday, 202o presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said felons should never lose the right to vote in the first place.

The Des Moines Register reported that only in Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont and in Maine are convicted felons allowed to vote from behind bars.

“I think that is absolutely the direction we should go,” Sanders said.

“While most states disenfranchise felons, Sanders said the convicted still have a right to participate in elections,” the Register reported.

“In my state, what we do is separate,” Sanders said. “You’re paying a price, you committed a crime, you’re in jail. That’s bad.”

“But you’re still living in American society and you have a right to vote,” Sanders said. “I believe in that, yes, I do.”

One of his competitors, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has said allowing felons to vote from behind bars needs more consideration.

“While they’re incarcerated, I think that’s something we can have more conversation about,” Warren said.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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