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Bernie Sanders quiets critics, becomes a 2020 front-runner

Bernie Sanders quiets critics, becomes a 2020 front-runner

At that Iowa town hall meeting, he was asked whether or not it would be implemented nationwide.

"When asked to respond to his Democratic opponent's comments, fellow presidential candidate Julián Castro agreed with O'Rourke's comments, adding groups of people are" dehumanized" by the Trump administration. Elizabeth Warren recently saying she backs the restoration of voting rights to those who have completed their prison terms.

He pointed to Florida as an example of change, where a ballot measure passed a year ago that called for the state to allow felons, except those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses, to have their right to vote restored after their sentences were served. "Bernie Sanders said people convicted of felonies should never lose access to the ballot box in the first place", writes the Des Moines Register.

"We were criticised for being too white; that was a correct criticism", Mr Sanders said on the "Breakfast Club" radio show in March. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia suspend voting rights for those imprisoned, while automatically restoring the franchise upon their release.

Sanders represents Vermont in the Senate, one of only two states that allow felons to vote from prison now.

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Officials have jailed his chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, and accused him of involvement in a "terrorist" scheme to overthrow the government.

Sanders is one of at least 14 official candidates trying to capture the Democratic nomination for 2020.

Bernie Sanders told Iowans Saturday he believes convicted felons should be allowed to vote while incarcerated because "they're still living in American society". "It was taking his language and selling it to the American people", said Faiz Shakir, Mr Sanders' campaign manager.

"In my state, what we do is separate", Sanders said. "I believe in that, yes, I do".

This is a disappointing setback for voting rights in Iowa. Sanders was opposed to an aggressive crime bill, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1991, that extended already long prison sentences and looked to increase use of the death penalty.

The Vermont senator, who launched a surprisingly strong challenge against Hillary Clinton in 2016, is hoping to build on the momentum from his last presidential campaign.