Yesterday was the inauguration ceremony for the 44th Presidential term. The occasion prompts me to write this post on the constitutional requirements for a citizen aspiring to serve as President.
Those requirements are breathtakingly simple: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” Article II, Section 1, paragraph 5.
Born citizen of the US, at least 35 years of age, and must have lived here for at least 14 years. That’s it?! A quick look at 2010 estimates of age/gender distribution on Wolfram Alpha shows us that over 75 million men and well over 81 million women meet the age requirement. That’s 156 million people, or about half of our total population. Of course the data is not perfect or clean – it is just age and gender distribution of the population. Some percentage is not a U.S. Citizen (born or naturalized), may not have lived in the country for 14 years, etc. But the point is that A LOT of people are constitutionally qualified to serve. How we end up with an ostensible TWO candidates each election boggles the mind and will be explored in future posts.
Unfortunately, if you qualify and would like to run for President yourself, it’s not as simple as folks walking into the voting booth and writing your name in as their choice. We’re dealing with bureaucracy after all! As such there are legal requirements and compliance procedures that must be met and followed for those votes to be legally counted. The thrust of this blog/project is to document the process that qualifies write-in votes for a candidate to be legally counted. The candidate in question will be myself and to understand my motivation you can read my first post.