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Politics

Trump Could Still Vote for Himself after New York Conviction if He’s Not in Prison on Election Day

DENVER  — Donald Trump may be convicted of a felony and reside in Florida, a state notorious for restricting the voting rights of people with felony convictions. But he can still vote as long as he stays out of prison in New York state.

That’s because Florida defers to other states’ disenfranchisement rules for residents convicted of out-of-state felonies. In Trump’s case, New York law only removes the right to vote for people convicted of felonies when they’re incarcerated. Once they’re out of prison, their rights are automatically restored, even if they’re on parole, per a 2021 law passed by the state’s Democratic legislature.

“If a Floridian’s voting rights are restored in the state of conviction, they are restored under Florida law,” Blair Bowie of the Campaign Legal Center wrote in a post, noting that people without Trump’s legal resources are often confused by Florida’s complex rules.

So as long as Trump isn’t sent to prison, he can vote for himself in Florida in November’s election.

Trump was convicted Thursday of falsifying business records in a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through hush money payments to a porn actor who said the two had sex.

A lifelong New Yorker, Trump established residency in Florida in 2019, while he was in the White House.

Even if he is elected president again, Trump will not be able to pardon himself of state charges in New York. The president’s pardon power applies only to federal crimes.

The conviction, and even imprisonment, would not bar Trump from continuing his pursuit of the White House. The Republican National Convention, which will open four days after his July 11 sentencing date in New York, adopted rules last year that didn’t include any specific provisions if its presumptive nominee is convicted of a crime.

Delegates could move to change their rules before formalizing Trump’s nomination, but there’s no evidence that a significant faction of the party would try to replace the former president on the GOP ticket. Trump commands loyalty across the GOP base, and the Republican National Committee is run by his loyalists, including his daughter-in-law Lara Trump as co-chair.

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