Posted: May 11, 2012 5:23 PM EDT Updated: May 11, 2012 5:23 PM EDT
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said several voters have suggested there is something her office could have done to prevent Judd from appearing on West Virginia's ballot. However, Tennant said doing so would have violated the U.S. Constitution.
According to that document, a candidate for president must be a natural born citizen, have lived in the U.S. for 14 years and aged 35 or older. It does not explicitly prohibit convicted felons from running for that office. And although states can determine their own qualifications for state offices, they cannot add to or subtract from qualifications for federal offices outlined in the Constitution.
"The West Virginia constitution's prohibition against a person under conviction of a felony applies only as stated in the West Virginia constitution for state, local and municipal offices," she said at a May 11 news conference where she discussed the issue of Judd's candidacy. "By the wording of our constitution, the felony disqualification does not apply to federal offices such as president."
However, Tennant wouldn't say if she thinks federal laws need to be changed to prevent felons from running for president.
And in other news: It's Bush's fault.
read more about Keith Judd:
If it's federal law, why was Mr Judd turned down in 13 of 14 states in 2008?
In 1999 Judd was convicted of two counts of "mailing a threatening communication with intent to extort money or something of value" and sentenced to 210 months (17½ years) in federal prison. The convictions stemmed from an incident in which he made threats at the University of New Mexico. He has appealed his conviction no less than 36 times, but each appeal has been dismissed for various reasons.
In 2008 he filed to run as a Democrat for President of the United States in 14 states but only appeared on the ballot in Idaho. Judd finished third in the May 27, 2008, non-binding Idaho Democratic presidential preference primary with 1.7 percent of the vote, behind Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. No delegates to the Democratic National Convention were at stake in the primary as Idaho's delegation was determined at the February 5 Democratic caucus, which Judd unsuccessfully contested.
Judd filed to run for president again in the 2012 general election, and attained ballot status in the West Virginia Democratic primary. On May 8, 2012, Judd won 41% of the primary vote in West Virginia against incumbent Barack Obama, a higher percentage of the vote in one state than any other primary opponent of Obama had hitherto achieved in 2012. While this showing would normally have entitled Judd to delegates at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, state officials expressed some uncertainty as to whether Judd had completed the required formalities, such as filing a slate of delegates and completing paperwork.