New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo broke with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on restoring voting rights for imprisoned felons and shared his opinion on the issue during a CNN interview on Tuesday.
“I totally disagree with Bernie Sanders,” Cuomo said after Sanders pushed the idea during a CNN town hall on Monday night.
He explained why he disagreed with the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, claiming that felons’ voting rights could be reinstated but should be blocked during their time in prison:
“You are in prison for a felony. You’re paying your debt to society. I don’t think you should have the right to vote and participate as a full citizen. Once you pay your debt to society — you’re out, you’re on parole, in this state, you’re being assimilated back into society — fine, then you have a right to vote.”
Watch the video below:
During a CNN’s town hall, Sanders spoke about his belief that convicted felons in prison should be allowed to vote, as IJR Red previously reported.
“Now here is my view: If somebody commits a serious crime — sexual assault, murder — they’re going to be punished. They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.”
Even when asked to clarify if that included those serving sentences for sexual assault and violent crimes, such as the Boston marathon bomber, he stood strong in his opinion.
“Because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote,’ or, ‘That person did that, not going to let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope,” Sanders said.
Sanders faced backlash from many Republicans, but other Democratic candidates seemed to agree with him when asked about the issue.