Harris Walks It Back on Felons Voting: Murderers, Terrorists 'Should Be Deprived' of Voting Rights

Sen. Kamala Harris/ Youtube Screenshot
April 23, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) on Tuesday walked back her comment on having a "conversation" about letting felons vote in prison, saying she believes that murderers and terrorists should be "deprived of their rights."

CNN's senior correspondent Jeff Zeleny reported on Twitter Tuesday night that Harris walked back her remark about Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) position to allow felons, including the Boston Marathon bomber, to vote.

"Clean-up in the Town Hall Aisle," Zeleny tweeted. "A day after saying she welcomed a 'conversation' about inmates voting in jail, @KamalaHarris said today: 'Do I think that people who commit murder, people who are terrorists should be deprived of their rights? Yeah, I do. I’m a prosecutor.'"

Harris, who is running for president, attended a CNN town hall in Manchester, N.H., on Monday night, where she was asked about Sanders's contention that even terrorists should be allowed to vote.

Sanders had his own CNN town hall before Harris, in which he was asked about his position on allowing felons to vote. His answer was that the right to vote is "inherent to our democracy" and thus they should have that right.

"To answer your question, as it happens in my own state of Vermont, from the very first days of our state's history, what our Constitution says is that everybody can vote," Sanders said. "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."

Harris initially dodged the question about Sanders, but after being pressed by moderator Don Lemon, she said, "We should have that conversation."

Harris's record as a prosecutor has gotten her into some trouble with certain segments of the left, as she aggressively sent marijuana dealers to prison while she was California's attorney general. She has hit some bumps since deciding to run for president and having to soften her formerly tough-on-crime stances.