"Article 23(2) of the American Convention establishes that the law may regulate the exercise and opportunities of such rights only on the basis of “age, nationality, residence, language, education, civil and mental capacity, or sentencing by a competent court in criminal proceedings.” The provision that limits the reasons for which it is possible to restrict the use of the rights of paragraph 1 has only one purpose – in light of the Convention as a whole and of its essential principles – to avoid the possibility of discrimination against individuals in the exercise of their political rights. It is evident that the inclusion of these reasons refers to the enabling conditions that the law can impose to exercise political rights. Restrictions based on these criteria are common in national electoral laws, which provide for the establishment of the minimum age to vote and to be elected, and some connection to the electoral district where the right is exercised, among other regulations. Provided that they are not disproportionate or unreasonable, these are limits that the States may legitimately establish to regulate the exercise and enjoyment of political rights and that, it should be repeated, they refer to certain requirements that the titleholders of political rights must comply with so as to be able to exercise them. "
DocumentOAS (IACHR): Case of Castañeda Gutman v. México, par. 155
- Every citizen has the right to vote.
- Limits on the right to vote may be based on a minimum age.
- Limits placed on the right to vote must be based on objective and reasonable criteria.
- Limits on those wishing to run for office must be based on objective and reasonable criteria.
- Limits on individuals wishing to run for office may only be based on objective and reasonable criteria, including criminal conviction.