Why Trump Could Still Vote if Found Guilty

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As former President Donald Trump faces a potential felony conviction this week, his ability to vote in November could be jeopardized.

According to the Sentencing Project, approximately 4.4 million people, or 2% of the electorate, were disenfranchised in the 2022 elections due to felony convictions. States like New York and Florida are among the 48 that restrict voting for certain felons. Should Trump be convicted, he might find himself unable to vote in November.

Nonetheless, experts speaking with NBC News believe this scenario is improbable.

Regarding the New York hush money case, Campaign Legal Center attorney Blair Bowie stated, “the only way he wouldn’t be able to vote is if he is in prison on Election Day.”

Trump’s situation isn’t unique as many individuals face lawsuits outside the states where they would vote. Florida doesn’t prohibit all felons convicted outside the state from voting; instead, it adheres to laws of the state where the person was convicted.

In New York, felons lose their voting rights while incarcerated but can vote once released.

Even if Trump is convicted and sentenced to prison, the lengthy appeals process would likely push any sentence beyond the election date.

Bowie and Sentencing Project member Bob Libal noted that confusion about Trump’s potential disenfranchisement could negatively impact broader voting practices.

“The confusion around President Trump’s eligibility to vote is representative of a confusion that a lot of people have, and I think that that confusion dissuades people from voting,” said Libal.

“It can be quite complicated. We’re talking about Trump, who’s a person who has access to lots of lawyers, and even here, you can tell it’s quite complicated,” Bowie added. “For the average person who doesn’t have access to attorneys, it can be almost impossible.”

Trump’s other legal issues add to the complexity—federal cases against him could more likely strip him of his voting rights in November.

A conviction in the classified documents or election conspiracy cases would require clemency in Florida or a presidential pardon to restore his voting rights. Unlike the hush money case, it’s uncertain if judgment will be rendered before Election Day.

Brady Knox
Brady Knox
Brady Knox is a breaking news reporter with a particular focus on Russia, Eastern Europe, and foreign affairs. Hailing from Pittsburgh, he graduated from Miami University in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies and political science.

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