To be elected the President of the United States (POTUS) you need to be:
35 years old
The United States Constitution imposes three requirements to be elected President.
That includes the person’s:
- And Citizenship
At the time of taking office, all three must be satisfied.
The President of the United States must be 35 years of age or older.
The President must have been a “Resident” of the United States for 14 years.
Finally, the third qualification to be President is that one must be a “natural born Citizen”. That is to say the person must have been born within the United States. However, the children of citizens of the United States, that “may be born beyond the sea, or out of the limits of the United States,” are also consider natural born citizens
- The three requirements for becoming Vice President of the United States are the same, including being age 35.
- Elected representatives in the U.S. must 25 years old or older.
Rationale for the age limit:
A lot of younger Americans who have re-engaged with an interest in politics are asking why is the Presidential age minimum set at 35?
With age comes wisdom, maturity and good judgement, three traits in a leader that would serve the country well. Still some arge, we don’t always see that in our politicians today. That some 20 years old Americans are wiser, and perhaps more responsible, than some elected officials. Still, age 35 is what the Founding Fathers may have been thinking when they set it in the U.S. Constitution when it was written.
Now age 35 was considered mature back then because average life expectancy in the 1700s was much lower than it is today. People would live on average 40 years. Though the average is skewed because many died at birth or in childhood. It should be noted that the first president George Washington lived to 67. Thomas Jefferson made it to 83.
There’s a movement to let anyone old enough to vote, run for any office, including the presidency. France allows this. And some Americans like Tucson’s Daniel Hernandez, Jr. have been barred from running for office because of their age, despite a track record of showing high capability.
Critics argue that if you are old enough to vote, or fight in the military for your country, then you should be old enough to run as an elected official.
Take heart. That still may change. After all, the right of Americans age 18 and older to vote was provided by the 26th Amendment, which, was ratified in 1971. It lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. That amendment came to be after youth protested they could not cast a vote for or against military conflicts that they were forced to fight. In Vietnam for example, 25% or almost 650,000 soldiers were draftees. Draftees also accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
Weird age facts related to this topic:
- The youngest president ever to take office was John F. Kennedy. He was elected president at aged 43. Theodore Roosevelt is the youngest person to ever become president. He was 42 when he became president after William McKinley was assassinated.
- The oldest president ever to take off was: Donald Trump at 70 years old, ahead by one year of Ronald Reagan, who was 69 years of age when he took office.
How to get started and file paperwork to run for the President of the United States:
You must register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Once you or anyone acting on your behalf receive contributions or spend more than $5,000, you will need to file a Statement of Candidacy. And, you must do this within 15 days of hitting that threshold. This authorizes a principal campaign committee to raise and spend funds on your behalf of your campaign.
Within 10 days of that filing, your principal campaign committee must also submit a Statement of Organization.