Romney: Violent Convicts Should Not Be Allowed to Regain Voting Rights

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum took GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney to task for opposing voting rights for felons who have served their time — and for what Santorum cast as a flip-flop on the issue from his time as Massachusetts governor, CBS News reports. During a Fox News/Wall Street Journal-hosted Republican presidential debate Monday ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Santorum said a Romney “super PAC” ad suggested that Santorum “voted to allow felons to be able to vote from prison.”

“I would ask Governor Romney, do you believe people who have — who were felons, who served their time, who have extended, exhausted their parole and probation, should they be given the right to vote?” Santorum said, noting that he was speaking on Martin Luther King Day, “This is a huge deal in the African-American community, because we have very high rates of incarceration, disproportionately high rates, particularly with drug crimes, in the African-American community.” Romney’s answer: “I don’t think people who have committed violent crimes should be allowed to vote again.” Santorum noted that when Romney was Massachusetts Governor, “not only could violent felons vote after they exhausted their sentences, but they could vote while they were on probation and parole.”

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