A swath of Democratic 2020 presidential candidates were pressed Wednesday on whether violent offenders should retain the right to vote.

During the She the People presidential forum in Houston, Texas, an event for White House hopefuls to address issues affecting minority women, contenders were asked about their positions after Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont this week said during a CNN town hall that "terrible people" such as the Boston Marathon bomber and felons convicted of sexual assault should be permitted to cast ballots, even while behind bars.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas said his views were informed by his experience with the Lone Star State's low voter turnout and the racial dynamics at play.

"I would think especially for nonviolent offenders that we rethink removing the right to vote, and allow everyone, or as many [as] possible, to participate in our democracy," O'Rourke told reporters on the sidelines of the forum. "For violent criminals, it's much harder for me to reach that conclusion. I feel that, at that point, you have broken a bond and a compact with your fellow Americans, and there has to be consequences in civil life to that, as well. But the fact that you can be arrested for possession of marijuana — a substance that is legal in much of the country — here in Texas, I don't know that you should lose your right to vote."

Obama administration Secretary if Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro said, "there's no question that stripping people of voting rights when they're incarcerated has been weaponized over time, especially in the South, and especially for African Americans."

"Where I would draw that line is, I would say, with the people who are incarcerated having the opportunity to still vote," Castro said. "They're counted in the census, they're counted for political representation purposes. The one exception [is] for people who are violent felons. When you commit certain types of violent crime, I believe that you lose all of those things."

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey reiterated his distaste for ticking presidential boxes, a gripe he also has for the way his rivals are handling the conversation about reparations. Booker said solutions first needed to be introduced that tackle the problem of mass incarceration.

The trio staking out their stance on prisoner enfranchisement comes after Sen. Kamala Harris of California said the voting rights matter warranted a conversation during a separate CNN town hall aired shortly after Sanders'. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, however, did not hesitate during his own segment.

"Part of the punishment when you are convicted of a crime and you're incarcerated is you lose certain rights. You lose your freedom," Buttigieg said. "I do believe that when you get out, when you have served your sentence, then part of being restored to society is that you are part of the political life of this nation again. And one of the things that needs to be restored is your right to vote. As you know, some states and communities to do it, some don't. I think we would be a better country if everybody did it."