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AGO 1950 No. 252 - April 07, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

ELIGIBILITY OF CANDIDATES FOR PUBLIC OFFICE

A person convicted of an infamous crime, whose civil rights have been restored, is eligible to become a candidate for public office providing he is otherwise qualified.

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                                                                    April 7, 1950

Honorable Earl Coe
Secretary of State
Legislative Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 252

Attention:  !ttMr. Kenneth Gilbert
            Superintendent of Elections

Dear Sir:

            We have your request of March 30, 1950, for an opinion from this office on the following question:

            Is a person convicted of an infamous crime, whose civil rights have been restored, eligible to become a candidate for public office providing he is otherwise qualified?

            Our conclusion may be summarized as follows:

            Such a person is eligible to become a candidate for public office.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            One of the qualifications for a candidate to an elective office is that he be an elector of the state and political subdivision to which the office pertains.  Chapter 139, section 1, Laws of 1919 (Rem. Rev. Stat. 9929) provides:

            "That no person shall be competent to qualify for or hold any elective public office within the state of Washington, or any county, district, precinct, school district, municipal corporation or other district or political subdivision, unless he be a citizen of  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] the United States and state of Washington and an elector of such county, district, precinct, school district, municipality or other district or political subdivision."

            The Constitution of Washington disqualified certain persons from the privilege of an elector.  Article VI, Section 3, provides:

            "All idiots, insane persons, and persons convicted of infamous crime unless restored to their civil rights, are excluded from the elective franchise."

            The disability of exclusion from the elective franchise of persons convicted of an infamous crime is removed on the restoration of their civil rights.

            It, therefore, is the opinion of this office that a person convicted of an infamous crime, whose civil rights have been restored, is eligible to become a candidate for public office providing he is otherwise qualified.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

LAWRENCE K. McDONELL
Assistant Attorney General

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