Good Question: Should prisoners have the right to vote?

Good Question

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – It is a question that has received plenty of reaction – should people serving time in prison have the right to vote?

Bernie Sanders nearly broke the internet earlier this week when the Democratic presidential candidate said violent criminals should be allowed to vote from prison.

“I believe that people who commit crimes, pay the price,” said Sanders during a CNN town hall. “When they get out of jail, I certainly believe they should have the right to vote. But I do believe, that even if they are in jail – they are paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”

We recently asked the question on our WCBD News 2 Facebook page, and judging by the answers, opinions vary… and that’s putting it mildly.

Reaction came pouring in from both sides. Some argue this is a good idea, encouraging prisoners to get involved in the political process—that isolating them from it during and after incarceration could encourage re-offending.

Others blasted this idea. President Trump said it’s deeply offensive to innocent victims across the country.

U.S. Senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham agrees.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more offended than I am right now, about the idea that Dylann Roof could vote in the next election,” he said in an interview with Count on 2. “Go tell people in Charleston that you think this man needs to have a voice about the future of South Carolina, that this man should have a say about who should be president of the United States. Voting is a privilege. We should all do our best to vote, but it is a privilege and a mass murderer like Dylann Roof should have a say from prison in shaping the future our state or have a say about who should be our next president.”

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