Fun fact of the day: A convicted felon can run for president of the United States of America.
Now depending on the state in which a person was convicted in, the restoration of voting rights can vary. According to an article published by NonprofitVOTE, in all but two states and the District of Columbia, of-aged citizens convicted of a felony are prohibited from voting for a certain period of time, and laws can vary in each state: many states restore voting rights to individuals automatically after they exit jail or prison, some continue the bar on voting even while on probation or parole, and a few permanently disenfranchised people with a past conviction require that person to petition the government to have their voting rights restored.
Here is a state overview on voting rights and a felony conviction:
Voting rights retained while in prison for a felony conviction in: Maine, Vermont, and the District of Columbia
Voting rights restored automatically upon release from prison in: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia
Voting rights restored automatically upon completion of sentence, including prison, and both parole, and probation in: Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington*, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Voting rights restoration can depend on the date or type of conviction, repayment of fines, the outcome of an individual petition to the government, or gubernatorial pardon in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
Despite all the variations that come with felony disenfranchisement, the U.S. Constitution does not prevent a felon from running for the office of the President. The only requirements that are necessary for a person to run for president is that the candidate must be a natural-born citizen of the United States of America, 35 years of age or older, and they must have been a U.S. resident for 14 years.
The Constitution also notes that the only additional exception would be the prohibition of a tenure of longer than 2 terms of 4 years each. (This amendment was added nearly a decade after the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt had won his third term in office- which limited the number of terms served by the President.)
On a closing note, if anyone was curious as to know if former president Donald Trump could run again for the office of the president- despite his involvement with the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol, the recent FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, and the two criminal investigations that are looking into possible election interference and alleged financial crimes- yes he can, and most likely will.
This is possible even if he is convicted of felony charges because one: according to the U.S. Constitution, since the former president only served a single term, he is eligible to run for president for one more term, and two even if were to become incarcerated, the constitution states that it is entirely legal to be a felon running for office.
I’ll be looking out for the campaign announcement, as I’m sure you all will too, especially after reading this blog post.
Stay woke, stay informed, and stay safe.
We Are Gen Z