Trump May Not Be Able to Vote for Himself Amid Conviction

Former US President Donald Trump's recent conviction as a felon has raised questions about his eligibility to vote in Florida, his home state. On May 30th, a Manhattan jury found Trump guilty of falsifying business records to conceal another crime, which qualifies as a felony in New York. People are uncertain about whether he will be able to vote in Florida, one of the biggest swing states in the upcoming November elections. Some experts have remarked that if Trump's voting rights are restored in Florida, it will be under the state's laws. In New York, felons are granted voting rights after they are released from prison, despite any other remaining sentences. Felons who have not served jail time are always eligible to participate in voting. Blair Bowie of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center has pointed out that Florida's laws can cause confusion. Trump has criticized Justice Merchan's handling of the trial and accused the judge of partisanship and conflicts of interest. After the verdict, he continued the criticism, declaring, "We have a judge who’s highly conflicted" in a press conference at Trump Tower in New York. Merchan's history of donating to Democrat campaigns and supporting Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign was highlighted during the trial. Additionally, Merchan's daughter, Loren Merchan, runs a progressive political consulting company that includes President Biden's 2024 re-election campaign as a client. Trump was already under a comprehensive gag order, which was extended to include his family members when he spoke out about the relationship between Loren Merchan and his political opponent. He was fined $9,000 for violating the gag order during the trial. Even though it still stands, Trump said he hoped his supporters would claim the unfairness of the situation on his behalf. He also confirmed he would contest the conviction. Trump was found guilty of thirty-four counts, each attracting a maximum sentence of four years in jail. However, he is likely to serve them simultaneously, resulting in up to four years' imprisonment in total. Nevertheless, some analysts believe that the judge may issue Trump a lighter sentence of probation or conditional discharge per California attorney Neama Rahmani. He indicated that Judge Merchan had expressed reluctance to imprison Trump when he broke the gag order on ten occasions. Rahmani further added that the offense in question is a class E felony, the lowest felony level in New York. Despite some experts' hopes that Trump's conviction will be reversed on appeal, others are less optimistic. John Malcolm, vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, noted that the jurors were correctly informed they did not need to unanimously agree on the underlying crime that Trump was attempting to hide by falsifying records. Additionally, Trump's defense team had limited access to evidence, while prosecution witnesses could testify to salacious, extraneous, and prejudicial information. Until after the elections, it seems unlikely that the conviction will be overturned

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