No, Trump’s not losing his right to vote this fall.

Justin here. As the former President’s New York trial begins its denouement, I’ve fielded a growing number of questions about the application of felony disenfranchisement rules in the event that Trump were convicted. There’s vanishingly little chance that the former President will be prevented from casting a vote for himself this fall.

(As with so many issues in the administration of criminal justice of new salience for portions of the public, and with respect to Florida felony disenfranchisement rules in particular, I can think of a lot of reasons why they’d warrant public attention … but not because of a need or desire for more disenfranchisement faster.)

Here’s how it works.

Back in 2019, Donald Trump moved his permanent residence to Mar-a-Lago, which means he’s a Florida voter. (And cast ballots in Florida in 2020 – by mail for the presidential preference primary and state primary, and in person for the general election.)

Florida’s rules on disenfranchisement for convictions out of state apparently depend on the rules out of state. According to the Florida Department of State‘s website, other than convictions for murder or sexual offenses, “a felony conviction in another state makes a person ineligible to vote in Florida only if the conviction would make the person ineligible to vote in the state where the person was convicted.”

Meanwhile, in New York, a 2021 law amended the state code to disenfranchise a person convicted of felony only “while he or she is incarcerated for such felony.” (emphasis added)

So if Donald Trump were convicted of a felony in New York, and if that conviction came with a sentence of incarceration, I’m quite confident that there would still be a vigorous appellate process — lasting many months at a minimum — before any incarceration began, and before his right to vote in Florida were put in jeopardy.

Share this: