A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA


Opinion – Every felon deserves suffrage if Trump can still run for President

Anthony Solorzano
Graphic by Anthony Solorzano

If being a convicted felon doesn’t bar you from becoming the leader of the free world, it absolutely in no circumstance should cost you your right to vote.

Less than a month ago, Donald Trump became the first current or former US president to be convicted of a felony offense. In fact, he was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to influence the 2016 Presidential election– all of which had to be unanimously agreed upon by a jury of his peers to lead to conviction.

One of the first questions people began to ask after his conviction was, “Can he still run for President?”

The answer is, of course. It didn’t stop the lesser known, but far greater, Eugene Debs from running and it won’t stop Trump.

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely think Dirty Don is an awful, abhorrent man and the last thing I ever want to see is Trump return to the oval office. Frankly, I think he shouldn’t be allowed to run for inciting an insurrection, but we all know that’s not happening. But as far as his freaky–deeky hush money conviction goes, his ability to run for office will and should stand.

With that said, I’m not here to break down his shady character or his somehow vanilla, yet disturbing, sexual encounter with an adult film actress.

Instead, I argue that the right of suffrage should be inalienable for all U.S. citizens, regardless of any and all prior criminal convictions.

However, in all but two states, that is not the case.



Most states, at a minimum, strip convicted felons of the right to vote while they are serving their prison sentences, parole or probation.

Some deny suffrage permanently without applying for their reinstatement by the state government. And yes, they are generally deep red states.

The right to vote is quite literally the only power average Americans have over how we run our government and society. We all know who truly gets unfairly targeted by the U.S. criminal justice system.

It’s not Trump and it’s not his largely white, suburban Christian nationalist base, despite all their cries of abuses of justice and a sham political trial.

More often, it’s those who the MAGA camp, and really the republican party as a whole, have been trying for decades to suppress. Those who are victimized by an unfair, even malignant, justice system.

Studies by the NAACP show that one in every three African-American boy born today can expect to be sentenced to prison in their lifetime, as well as one in every six Latinos. And, the odds of these alarmingly grim statistics ever changing become far worse if those most affected are stripped of the ability to advocate for themselves through suffrage.

According to The Sentencing Project, an estimated 4.4 million Americans lost their right to vote in the 2022 midterm elections due to being convicted of a federal offense.

4.4 million people. Given all the hullabaloo from both sides of the isle that American democracy is on the brink of failure leading into what is sure to be a tightly contested, if not widely apathetic, election this is a pretty big fucking deal.

The ability for every citizen to vote is fundamental to the American experiment. Frankly, it is far more important than the ability for any individual to run for political office.

So yes, following his felony conviction, Trump should still be allowed to run for office and with that, every US citizen convicted of a felony offense should be allowed to cast their vote to determine where he does or (hopefully) doesn’t succeed.

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About the Contributors
Jacob Bertram
Jacob Bertram, News Editor
Jacob Bertram is the News Editor. He is  in his second year at Mt. SAC and enjoys covering labor, politics, and social justice. He is also a Navy veteran.
Anthony Solorzano
Anthony Solorzano, Opinions Editor
Anthony Solorzano is the Opinions Editor. He has been pursuing journalism since he realized he hated his job. Anthony loves to tell stories using humor. He finds pop culture to be the truest form of pretentious art.

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