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Bernie Sanders Tells Chris Cuomo That Even Boston Marathon Bomber Should Vote From Prison

Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stuck to his principles when he was asked if rapists, and even terrorists like the Boston Marathon bomber, should be allowed to vote from prison, and answered that yes, they should.

At the third of five CNN town hall forums Monday night, Sanders’ belief in voting rights for prisoners was put to the test when a young woman named Anne Carlstein asked Sanders “Do you think that those convicted of sexual assault should have the opportunity to vote for politicians that could have a direct impact on women’s rights?”

Sanders began by expressing support for voting rights in general, and slamming “cowardly Republican governors” who “are trying to suppress the vote.”

He explained that in Vermont, the right to vote is enshrined in the state constitution, and answered Carlstein by saying “Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away” at that right, “you’re running down a slippery slope.”

Moderator Chris Cuomo then followed up by noting that such a position could easily become an opposition soundbite.

“Applause for the answer,” Cuomo said. “My follow question goes to this being like, you’re writing an opposition ad against you by saying you think the Boston Marathon bomber should vote, not after he pays his debt to society, but while he’s in jail. You’re sure about that?”

Without hesitation, Sanders said “Well Chris, I think I’ve written many 30-second opposition ads throughout my life, this will be just another one.”

“But I do believe, look, this is what I believe,” Sanders continued. “Do you believe in democracy? Do you believe that every single American 18 years of age or older who is an American citizen has the right to vote?”

Sanders reiterated his earlier answer, and concluded by saying “This is a democracy, we’ve got to expand that democracy, and I believe every single person does have the right to vote.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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