This Saturday’s presidential trivia! This week’s questions are a series of “true or false” scenarios prompted by questions in my news feed during the past 24 hours. 🙂
(1) True or False? A person who has been indicted (or even a convicted felon) can be elected President.
(2) True or False? Presidential electors must vote for the popular vote winner in their state.
(3) True or False? With 10 days to go before the election, it is too late to replace a nominee’s name on the ballot.
Answers below the fold!
(1) QUESTION: True or False? A person who has been indicted (or even a convicted felon) can be elected President.
ANSWER: True. The Constitution doesn’t provide too many restrictions on who may be elected President. If the felon is a natural born citizen aged 35 years old or older, and if that felon has been living in the United States for at least 14 years and hasn’t previously been elected to two terms in office….. Well, that person is eligible. Having said that, a person who has been impeached and convicted may not be elected to a new federal office. Not only Presidents but also “all civil Officers of the United States” can be impeached. Some scholars argue that both current AND former officeholders are subject to impeachment. It gives Congress a tool to prevent abusers of government power from returning to a position of power.
(2) QUESTION: True or False? Presidential electors must vote for the popular vote winner in their state.
ANSWER: Possibly False. Many states have laws that attempt to bind electors to the winner of their popular votes. Those laws have never been tested in court, but many scholars believe that the laws may be unconstitutional. This question opens a whole Pandora’s Box of possibilities (AND problems). More complete information here: http://www.taraross.com/2016/10/electoral-college-qa-who-are-the-electors-how-are-they-appointed-are-they-bound-to-the-popular-vote-winner/
(3) QUESTION: True or False? With 10 days to go before the election, it is too late to replace a nominee’s name on the ballot.
ANSWER: False. When you cast your ballot on Election Day, you aren’t really voting for the candidates themselves. You are actually casting your ballot for a slate of electors (either Republican, Democrat or third party). If the RNC or DNC were to decide to replace its nominee with someone new, then the electors would simply vote for this new candidate during the meetings of the electors on December 19. The bigger issue would be educating voters and reminding them that they are actually voting for the slate of electors, not for the name they see listed on their ballot. Please note that states also retain some power in this area, regardless of what the RNC and DNC decide. For instance, they could potentially allow electors to vote for a vice presidential nominee in place of a presidential nominee.