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Will Trump lose his right to vote after felony conviction? DeSantis weighs in

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Former President Trump will not lose his right to vote in Florida, where he resides, despite his felony conviction in New York, thanks to his former 2024 rival.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who made an unsuccessful bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, on Friday said that Trump has not lost his voting rights in Florida and will not lose them so long as DeSantis chairs the Florida Clemency Board.

“Former President Donald Trump hasn’t lost his voting rights in Florida. Rights are not removed in Florida where they haven’t yet been stripped in the convicting jurisdiction,” DeSantis said on X.

“That said, given the absurd nature of the New York prosecution of Trump, this would be an easy case to qualify for restoration of rights per the Florida Clemency Board, which I chair,” he continued. 

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“The bottom line is that Donald Trump’s vote this November will be one of millions that demonstrate Florida is now a solid Republican state!” 

Trump on Thursday was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records in what prosecutors called a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election through payments to silence porn star Stormy Daniels about their alleged 2006 sexual encounter. The former president maintains his innocence. 

It is common practice in most states that convicted felons are disenfranchised, sometimes permanently. In New York, felons lose the right to vote while incarcerated, but those rights are automatically restored upon release, even if they’re on parole, because of a 2021 law passed by the state’s Democratic-majority legislature. 

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

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Donald Trump arrives to Trump Tower after being found guilty

Florida state law defers to other states’ disenfranchisement rules for residents convicted of out-of-state felonies. So long as Trump is not sent to prison, he will retain his right to vote in Florida with no action needed from DeSantis or the clemency board. 

Trump is scheduled to appear for a sentencing hearing on July 11. DeSantis’ promise makes it so that no matter the sentence, Trump will be able to vote in Florida in the November election.

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Donald Trump speaks to members of the media at Manhattan Criminal Court

Trump’s conviction, and even imprisonment, would not prevent him from continuing to run for president. The Republican National Convention will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin four days after Trump is sentenced. The RNC adopted rules last year that did not include any specific provisions if the presumptive GOP nominee is convicted of a crime.

Delegates are able to change the rules before Trump is formally nominated, but there appears to be little support for nominating another candidate. RNC Chairman Michael Whatley said Trump’s verdict was “handed down by a partisan and biased judge” and claimed Democrats have “weaponized” the justice system to attack Trump. 

“The real verdict will take place on November 5 when Americans vote for a president they trust to bring down prices, secure the southern border, restore America’s leadership around the world and Make America Great Again,” Whatley said in a statement after the jury found Trump guilty on all counts. 

Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is co-chair of the RNC. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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