Donald Trump found guilty; will he remain on Indiana ballot?


Former President Donald Trump easily secured enough delegates to make Indiana’s November ballot for president and, despite his historic criminal conviction Thursday, there he will likely remain.

It’s the immediate question on voters’ minds as the jury read its verdict convicting Trump of 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Though Indiana has its own set of stringent signature qualifications for making it on the ballot ― which Trump did in February ― state law does not prohibit a convicted felon from holding federal office. Neither does the U.S. Constitution.

Live updates: Former President Donald Trump found guilty on all counts in hush money case

What does Indiana law say?

Indiana law says a person is disqualified from running for state or local elected office for a slew of reasons, including having a felony conviction. Candidates are also disqualified if they offer a “bribe, threat or reward” to secure a seat, are on active military duty or serve as a nonjudicial court employee.

But that section of Indiana law “does not apply to a candidate for federal office,” it says.

The only parameters listed in the U.S. Constitution are that a candidate be 35 years old, a natural-born citizen and a resident for at least 14 years.

It’s voters’ choice

So it’s up to voters, not the legal system, to decide whether they want a convicted felon to serve as president of the United States. Pundits everywhere are likely trying to predict whether the conviction may alter the Republican math: It certainly has emboldened his base of support, but what about moderate voters?

In Indiana, Trump remains popular. But Nikki Haley, Trump’s opponent on the Indiana Republican primary ballot, still pulled nearly 22% of the statewide vote in May, despite having already announced she was dropping out of the race in what some experts say could have been a warning sign.

Indiana’s moderate Republican Sen. Todd Young isn’t commenting. More conservative Indiana lawmakers like Sen. Mike Braun and Rep. Jim Banks, meanwhile, are resolutely digging their heels in behind Trump.

Banks tweeted a picture of the Appeal to Heaven flag, which was carried by rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Trump’s sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just days before the Republican convention. Since he’s a first-time offender, he might get a light sentence, such as home confinement or a short jail sentence, legal experts say. He also could appeal the decision.

Can one hold federal office while in behind bars?

“Well, while it might pose logistical problems, there aren’t any laws stopping anyone,” University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos told USA Today.

Contact IndyStar state government and politics reporter Kayla Dwyer at or follow her on Twitter@kayla_dwyer17.

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