updated 10/30/2008 2:46:06 PM ET 2008-10-30T18:46:06

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' felony conviction won't block him from casting a vote for himself in Tuesday's election.

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Stevens was found guilty Monday on seven counts of trying to hide more than $250,000 in free home renovations and other gifts that he received from a wealthy oil contractor.

Alaska law says "a person convicted of a crime that constitutes a felony involving moral turpitude under state or federal law may not vote in a state, federal, or municipal election from the date of the conviction through the date of the unconditional discharge of the person."

The state attorney general's office determined that while Stevens’ crimes fit the definition of “a felony involving moral turpitude,” a guilty verdict isn’t technically a “conviction” until he is sentenced.

Since Stevens has not been sentenced yet, he is eligible to vote in the general election, said Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska Division of Elections.

Stevens won't be sentenced until early next year. He faces a maximum 35 years in prison, but is likely to get far less, if any, prison time. If re-elected, he also could face an expulsion vote in the Senate, or senators could recommend a lesser sanction.

The 84-year-old Republican senator, who has represented Alaska in the Senate since 1968, is in a tight race with Democratic challenger Mark Begich, the mayor of Anchorage.

Several politicians, including GOP presidential candidate John McCain and running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, have called on Stevens to resign. But the senator has said he plans to fight his conviction and for re-election.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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