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Sanders says felons should be able to vote from behind bars

While several of the dozen states with a lifetime ban on voting by felons are considering an easing of restrictions, Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to go one big step further: The Democratic presidential candidate says people convicted of felonies should never lose access to the ballot box, even while they're incarcerated.

That policy is now in place only in his home state of Vermont and neighboring Maine. Sanders said that if he becomes president he'd support nationalizing it. "In my state, what we do is separate. You're paying a price, you committed a crime, you're in jail. That's bad," he told an audience Saturday in Iowa. "But you're still living in American society and you have a right to vote. I believe in that, yes, I do."

No other presidential candidate has called for permitting all people behind bars to vote. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has called for the automatic restoration of the franchise to all felons after they're out of prison, which is the law in 14 states and Washington, D.C. In 22 states, felon voting rights are restored after completion of parole or probation.

Iowa, where the caucuses will kick off the presidential nominating process next winter, is one of a handful of states where felons can vote again only if they win permission from the governor. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds wants to make the restoration automatic, a proposal that was approved by the GOP-run state House but blocked last week by the GOP-majority state Senate.

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RepresentUs

RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.

Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez still discussing revolving door bill

Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?

To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."

The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.

The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.

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Adults of all ages agree: There's little confidence in elected leaders

But in general, young adults have a lot more trust issues than their elders

Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.

While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."

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