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Can Trump vote in November if he’s convicted of a felony in New York?

The former president could soon join the millions of Americans whose voting rights depend on their criminal records.

Former President Donald Trump could soon join the millions of Americans whose voting rights depend on their criminal records if a New York jury convicts him of felony charges in a hush money case.

But experts say Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is unlikely to be disenfranchised by a felony conviction in the New York case, noting that it would come down to whether he went to prison as part of his sentence.

Forty-eight states prohibit some or all Americans with felony convictions on their records from voting, according to the Sentencing Project, and an estimated 4.4 million Americans — about 2% of the voting-age population — could not vote in the 2022 elections because of those laws. The group estimates that more than 1 million of them live in Florida, where Trump established his official residency in 2019.

Florida defers to other state laws when it comes to disenfranchising voters who are tried and convicted elsewhere. That means Florida voters like Trump would lose their voting rights only if the states where they were convicted would disenfranchise them for the crimes, too. And if the states of their convictions would restore their voting rights, so would Florida, said Blair Bowie, an attorney at the Campaign Legal Center who advocates for the end of felony disenfranchisement.

New York prohibits those serving time behind bars for felony convictions from voting, and voting rights are restored as soon as a person leaves prison. Those convicted of felonies who do not go to prison never lose their voting rights.

In the New York case, “the only way he wouldn’t be able to vote is if he is in prison on Election Day,” Bowie said.

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The 12-person jury in Trump’s trial in Manhattan began deliberating prosecutors’ case on Wednesday, and it could render a verdict at any point. Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records relating to a hush money payment his attorney Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the closing days of the 2016 election.

Trump could face up to four years in prison if he is convicted. But experts say prison time for a first-time, nonviolent offender is less likely. And even if he were ordered to serve time, the inevitable appeals process would most likely delay a sentence well past the election, allowing Trump to cast a ballot for himself in his third presidential bid.

In the event of Trump’s losing his voting rights in Florida, there would also be avenues for him to regain them.

Trump could seek clemency to restore his voting rights in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis — his former rival in the 2024 GOP presidential primaries — oversees a process that allows people with felony convictions to regain their voting rights.

Bowie said DeSantis typically requires those with felony convictions to complete the terms of their sentencing before they apply, but he has the power to change the rules.

Conviction in federal court — where Trump faces charges in Washington, D.C., in connection with attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and in Florida for his handling of classified documents — could pose a greater threat to Trump’s voting rights in Florida, she added, as he would need to seek clemency in Florida or a presidential pardon to vote again in the state in that scenario. But it’s unclear whether those cases will go to trial before Election Day.

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Bob Libal, an organizer at the Sentencing Project, said Trump’s experience is not unique.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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