Kids: What Qualifications Must a Candidate for President Have?

This is a major election year with the United States set to choose the new President. You've probably heard numerous discussions about who will or who will not be elected in November to take office in January 2017. But, do you know the qualifications a candidate for a US President must meet? Did you know that you can find them in the Constitution of the United States?

According to Article Two of the Constitution, only a natural born citizen can run for president. A natural born citizen is someone who is born in the United States, but it also includes anyone born in a foreign country if their parents are U.S. citizens. That means that immigrants--those coming into this country from another country--are not eligible to be a presidential candidate. 

The person wanting to be our president must also be at least 35 years old. This allows the person to hopefully gain experience, education, and wisdom. The person is also required to have lived in America for at least fourteen years. It is believed that this period of time allows the candidate to become familiar with the various roles of government and thoroughly understand America's rules and people.

In 1951, an amendment was approved to be added to the U.S. Constitution. This is the 22nd Amendment which says that a President cannot hold more than two terms. One term is 4 years, so if a President wants to stay in office, he or she is limited to 8 years.

Next week, we'll take a look at what it means to be a member of the Democratic, Republican, or the Independent Parties.

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