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Former President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower, May 31, 2024, in New York. A day after a New York jury found Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony charges. (AP) Former President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower, May 31, 2024, in New York. A day after a New York jury found Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony charges. (AP)

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower, May 31, 2024, in New York. A day after a New York jury found Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony charges. (AP)

Maria Ramirez Uribe
By Maria Ramirez Uribe May 31, 2024
Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman May 31, 2024

Donald Trump is likely able to vote in November despite felony convictions

If Your Time is short

  • Former President Donald Trump was convicted by a Manhattan, New York, jury May 30 of 34 felonies. His sentencing is set for July 11.

  • Trump’s sentence could be stayed pending an appeal. 

  • In Trump’s home state of Florida, where he is registered to vote, the Department of State website says that "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." 

  • New York restores the right to vote for people convicted of felonies upon release from imprisonment. If people convicted of felonies are not imprisoned, they remain eligible to vote.

Former President and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s felony conviction in New York raised questions about what comes next. Trump can still run for president, but claims about his voting eligibility followed the May 30 verdict. 

"Trump can’t vote for himself in the November election," Florida state Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Sunny Isles Beach, wrote on X after the verdict. "He can thank Florida Republicans for that."

Pizzo’s X post received a corrective, crowdsourced community note detailing what legal experts have previously told us: Trump likely would not lose his voting rights. Many legal experts, including the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit group that supports voting rights, said Trump’s ability to vote hinges on whether he is in prison on Election Day.

Trump’s sentencing is scheduled for July 11. Many legal experts have expressed doubt that Trump will be sentenced to prison because the charge is a nonviolent, low-level felony and he has no previous convictions. 

"We are going to be appealing this scam," Trump said at a May 31 press conference at Trump Tower in New York.

It is widely expected that the appeal process will extend beyond Election Day. 

When we contacted Pizzo for comment, he said Trump would not have the right to vote until all the terms of his sentence had been satisfied, citing Florida law. We found that Florida defers to other states’ laws when the conviction is in their jurisdiction. Pizzo also acknowledged that Trump can vote while appealing his conviction. 

"Sen. Pizzo's statement holds true for someone convicted of a felony in Florida or in federal court — but Trump was convicted in state court in New York," Blair Bowie, director of the Restore Your Vote program at the Campaign Legal Center, told PolitiFact. "Trump will not lose his right to vote in this case unless he is in prison on Election Day."

Florida’s law about voting after a felony conviction

States pass laws about whether people convicted of felonies lose their voting rights and if so, how they can regain them. 

Trump lives in Florida. People convicted in Florida of most felonies lose their voting rights until they serve their entire sentence, including prison time, probation and paying fines, according to the Florida Department of State. (Murder and sexual offense felonies make people ineligible to vote unless the State Clemency Board restores their rights.) 

However, Trump was convicted in New York. And according to Florida’s Department of State, "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."

New York law passed a 2021 law that restores voting rights for people convicted of felonies upon their release from prison. People convicted of felonies don’t lose the right to vote unless they are in prison serving their sentences. And people whose prison sentences are stayed pending appeal do not lose their voting rights, Kathleen R. McGrath, a New York state Board of Elections spokesperson, told PolitiFact

After Trump is sentenced, it is highly likely his lawyers will file a motion to the appeals court asking that the sentence be stayed during the appeal. In 99% of cases involving white-collar defendants, that motion is granted, said Evan Gotlob, a former local and federal prosecutor.  

"Former President Trump would therefore need to be actually incarcerated during the time of the November election to lose his ability to vote," said Neil Volz, the deputy director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the group that advocated for Florida’s 2018 constitutional amendment restoring felon voting rights.

University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald, an expert on disenfranchisement of people convicted of felonies, told PolitiFact, "Trump may, in fact, be removed from the voter rolls but it seems highly unlikely he will be removed by November."

"The most reasonable scenario here is that Trump remains on the voter rolls," McDonald said. "He could be sentenced to prison, and he could be serving time by the time we get to November, I guess I can’t rule out that possibility, but it seems like a very remote possibility."

In 2018, Floridians voted in favor of the amendment that restores the voting rights of people with felony convictions after those people complete the terms of their sentences. Previously, people with felony convictions had to seek to regain their voting rights through the state clemency board

Florida state officials, including from the Department of State, have not responded to PolitiFact’s questions about Trump’s voting rights. Trump is a registered voter in Palm Beach County. 

Our ruling

Pizzo said, "Trump can’t vote for himself in the November election."

This is premature and against the odds. The Florida Department of State says a felony conviction in another state invalidates the right to vote in Florida only if "the conviction would make the person ineligible to vote in the state where the person was convicted." That means New York’s laws would apply to Trump. In that state, people convicted of felonies lose the right to vote only while incarcerated. 

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced July 11. Even if he receives prison time — which many legal experts said they think is unlikely —  it would be stayed pending an appeal that is likely to extend beyond Election Day.

Pizzo’s statement contains an element of truth because it cannot be ruled out that Trump would be incarcerated on Election Day and therefore unable to vote for himself. But the statement ignores critical facts that would give a different impression: Trump has said he will appeal his conviction. This would stay his sentence until the appeal is complete — widely expected to be after Election Day. 

We rate this statement Mostly False. 

RELATED: Following guilty verdict, fact-checking Donald Trump on Biden’s role, being a ‘political prisoner’

Our Sources

PolitiFact, Q&A: Can Trump run for president if indicted in Stormy Daniels case? What happens if he's arrested?, March 20, 2024

Sen. Jason Pizzo, post, May 30, 2024

PolitiFact, Why it’s unlikely that Trump will lose his voting rights if convicted of a felony in New York, May 23, 2024

PolitiFact, Biden’s promise related to restoring felons’ voting rights stalls, Dec. 16, 2021

PolitiFact, Trump guilty in NY trial: Can he still run for president or vote as a convicted felon?, May 30, 2024

New York state law, SECTION 5-106, Qualifications of voters; reasons for exclusion, Accessed May 31, 2024

Campaign Legal Center, statement to PolitiFact, May 30, 2024

Jonathan Diaz, Campaign Legal Center director of voting advocacy and partnerships, post, May 30, 2024

Chicago Tribune, Donald Trump could still vote for himself after New York conviction if he’s not in prison on Election Day, May 30, 2024

NBC News, Can Trump vote in November now that he's been convicted of felony charges?, May 29, 2024

Florida Department of State, Constitutional Amendment 4/Felon Voting Rights, Oct. 14, 2020

Florida Constitution Article VI, Accessed May 21, 2024

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Voting with a criminal record in Florida what you need to know, August 2022

New York State Board of Elections, Voting after incarceration, Accessed May 21, 2024

Brennan Center for Justice at New York University school of law, Voting Rights Restoration Efforts in New York, May 4, 2021

Brennan Center for Justice at New York University s school of law, How Could Trump’s New York Hush Money Trial End? May 14, 2024

Brian Tyler Cohen, Trump at risk of LOSING voting rights in Florida, May 2024

Republican Voters Against Trump, Clip of Chris Christie, Nov. 28, 2023

Danny Rivero, X post, May 17, 2024

Election Law Blog, No, Trump’s not losing his right to vote this fall. May 17, 2024

USA Today, Could Trump lose his right to vote in the 2024 presidential election? Maybe. April 22, 2024

NPR, If convicted this year, Trump could lose the right to vote for himself, April 26, 2024

ABC News, What are the potential outcomes of Trump's hush money trial? May 20, 2024

National Conference of State Legislatures, Restoration of Voting Rights for Felons, April 17, 2024

News Service of Florida, A lawsuit over Florida's felon voting restrictions has been dropped, May 15, 2024

PolitiFact, Biden’s promise related to restoring felons’ voting rights stalls, Dec. 16, 2021

PolitiFact, Biden's statement on Trump's 2020 mail voting is Half True, Jan. 13, 2022

PolitiFact, Can Donald Trump run for president if charged and convicted of removing official records? Aug. 9, 2022

PolitiFact, Q&A: Can Trump run for president if indicted in Stormy Daniels case? What happens if he's arrested? March 20, 2023

Email interview, Kathleen R. McGrath, spokesperson for the New York State Board of Elections, May 21 and May 31, 2024

Email interview, Neil Volz, deputy director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, May 21, 2024

Email interview, Justin Levitt, Loyola law school professor, May 17, 2024

Telephone interview, Barry Richard, Florida lawyer, May 21, 2024

Telephone interview, Jennifer Blohm, Florida lawyer, May 21, 2024

Telephone interview, Nicholas Warren, ACLU of Florida staff attorney, May 22, 2024

Telephone interview and email interview, Michael McDonald, University of Florida political science professor, May 31, 2024

Telephone interview, Evan Gotlob, partner at Saul Ewing and former Assistant U.S. Attorney, May 31 2024

Telephone interview, Sen. Jason Pizzo, May 30, 2024

Email, Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, May 31, 2024

Email, Blair Bowie, director of the Campaign Legal Center’s Restore Your Vote program, May 31, 2024

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Donald Trump is likely able to vote in November despite felony convictions

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