This Question has covered the recent news about a push for statehood for DC to redress the issues with lack of representation for residents.

What prevents people living in DC registering to vote elsewhere like the President recently did in Florida?

2 Answers 2


Registering to vote requires residency in the state (or federal district) in which one is registering. States may vary in whether they require some form of proof of residency at the time of registration, or simply an affirmation. In either case, lying about one's residency status on registration forms would be fraud.


While some people have flexibility in where they register (university students, dual-residence retirees, a.k.a. snowbirds), most people do not.

Note that even President Trump's attempt to change his registration to Florida was initially rejected because he recorded his legal residence on the registration form as Washington DC, rather than Palm Beach, FL.

  • A statute citing Fourteenth-Amendment authority which provided that DC residents may opt to register to vote in the federal elections of any one state which directly borders DC (i.e. with the present borders, Maryland or Virginia) would seem more consistent with the Constitution than measures to make DC a state.
    – supercat
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 3:01
  • @supercat what elections does "federal" include? House and Sentate + President? There's info in a deleted answer below, that says all the neighbouring states require 183 days of residency to vote. Which would seem to be an issue...
    – Jontia
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 8:24
  • It's not just the two neighboring states; residency requirements (for purposes of voting, state taxes, vehicle registration, etc.) are set so that one cannot claim residency in two different states simultaneously, frequently by the 183 day (nominal physical) residency requirement. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 9:07
  • @user4556274: It would include House, Senate, and President, since those would be the only elected offices to whom DC residents would be subject to jurisdiction, but for which DC residents would not otherwise be entitled to vote.
    – supercat
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 15:03
  • 1
    @supercat - We only acknowledge Amendments #1, #2, and #5. Don't get all social studies brainy on us! Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 16:43

Every state only allows you to vote if you are a resident of this state.

When it comes to incumbent Presidents, their state of residency is generally considered to be the state where they were a resident before being elected, and where they intend to return once their time in office has ended. This is why Obama was able to vote in Illinois, and Bush in Texas.

In order for President Trump's voter registration in Florida to stand, he would have to convince authorities that he intends to move permanently to Mar-a-Lago (the address on his voter registration) once his time in office has finished.

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