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Who, me? [userpic]

How can a convicted felon be elected?

October 28th, 2008 (08:54 am)

current mood: annoyed

Senator Ted Stevens has been convicted on seven felony counts.

And he's still a candidate for reelection.

How does that work? A convicted felon generally isn't allowed to vote in elections; how can he vote in the Senate?

(Edit: I understand how it works legally; I just think the law is wrong. If felons can't be trusted to vote, then they can't be trusted to be legislators. Personally, I think it should be the other way around: felons should retain the vote, and Congress should have no right to expel members without an impeachment hearing.)


Posted by: dsrtao (dsrtao)
Posted at: October 28th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)

Felons can vote if the state allows it.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: October 28th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC)
Not in Alaska

But Alaska doesn't. From their "Division of Election" site:

I was convicted of a felony, but have served my time and am on probation. Can I register to vote?

No. A convicted felon may not register to vote unless unconditionally discharged from custody. When you are no longer on probation, a copy of your discharge papers will allow you to register.

Unless his sentencing hearing goes stupidly well for him, he won't be eligible to vote next Tuesday.

Posted by: robertdfeinman (robertdfeinman)
Posted at: October 28th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)

Both the senate and house set their own rules for who they will seat. Stevens could win the election, then be refused a seat and Palin would get to pick his replacement.

It's not clear (to me) when a new election would be scheduled to complete the term.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Chris (tangerinpenguin)
Posted at: October 28th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)

CQPolitics has an FAQ on the conviction that talks about what happens, and on what probable timeline. In sum: he can serve, despite being a felon. But he loses any committee chair or ranking Republican posts (which has pretty much already happened) and his fellow Senators can vote (by 2/3) to expell him.

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