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Analysis: Can Trump still run for president? Can he still vote? | CNN Politics

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses whether a convicted felon can run for and vote in the US presidential election, focusing on the case of former President Donald Trump who was recently convicted of 34 felony charges.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Can a convicted felon run for president?

  • Yes, a convicted felon can run for president. The US Constitution lays out three requirements for presidential candidates - being a natural born citizen, at least 35 years old, and a US resident for at least 14 years. Trump meets all three requirements.
  • There is an argument that the 14th Amendment could prohibit someone who has engaged in insurrection from being an officer of the US, but the Supreme Court ruled that Congress would need to pass a special law to invoke this prohibition, which is unlikely to happen soon.

[02] Can Trump, as a felon, vote for himself?

  • It depends on whether Trump is sentenced to prison time and if he has finished serving that sentence by the time of the election.
  • Each state has its own rules on felon voting. Vermont and Maine allow felons to vote from prison, and some states have moved to allow felons on parole to vote.
  • In Florida, where Trump is a resident, voters passed a referendum in 2018 to reenfranchise convicted felons, but Republican lawmakers added a requirement that felons must pay all fines and fees associated with their sentence before being eligible to vote.
  • Even if Trump is sentenced to prison, it is highly unlikely his right to appeal the conviction would be exhausted before the election. If he is convicted in a federal case before the election, that could be a different story.

[03] What is the precedent for presidential campaigns from prison?

  • There is precedent for unsuccessful presidential campaigns being mounted from prison cells, such as Eugene Debs' 1920 campaign while serving a 10-year sentence for sedition.
  • Debs received nearly a million votes, over 3% of the total, even while incarcerated. His sentence was later commuted by President Harding.
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