Sen. Kamala Harris said Monday that she would be open to having a “conversation” about giving incarcerated felons the right to vote.
During a CNN town hall, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate was asked about her position on the voting rights issue by CNN’s Don Lemon, who noted that Sen. Bernie Sanders had said earlier in the night that he supports extending the right to vote to everyone, even incarcerated “terrible people,” like Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“I agree that the right to vote is one of the very important components of citizenship,” Harris said when first asked. “It is something that people should not be stripped of needlessly, which is why I have been long an advocate of making sure that the formerly incarcerated are not denied a right to vote.”
When pressed by on how she felt about giving the vote to felons who are currently incarcerated, she didn’t take a firm stance one way or the other.
Instead, she said, “I think we should have that conversation.”
Another Democratic presidential candidate has also skirted a question about giving current felons the right to vote. When asked for her thoughts on the matter last month, Elizabeth Warren said her priority is giving felons who have served their time the right to vote.
“While they’re incarcerated, I think that’s something we can have more conversation about,” Warren said at the time.
Voting right for felons vary wildly from state to state. Only two states, Maine and Vermont, currently allow inmates to vote from prison.