Trump is big on voter fraud but his new campaign manager could be guilty of the same crime
Trump's new campaign manager appears to be guilty of electoral fraud, something the Trump campaign had warned threatened the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election. Photograph: (Getty)
The Guardian reports that Stephen Bannon, an executive of the right wing publication Breitbart News, has an active voter registration at a Florida house in which he does not live. The Miami-Dade Country home is currently vacant and is set for demolition.
Bannon had rented the house for his ex-wife, but did not ever live there himself. His ex-wife, Diane Clohesy, a Tea Party activist, also no longer lives in the house. Neighbours say the house has been abandoned for months.
Bannon assigned his voter registration to another house in Miami he rented for Clohesy, in which she lived between 2013-2015, but The Guardian's source claims that Bannon didn't live in this house either. Records show that the two have been divorced for seven years.
The Guardian's repeated attempts to answer detailed questions about Bannon's living arrangement went unanswered. A Trump campaign spokesman said that "Bannon moved to another location in Florida", but declined to answer any further questions.
It is still not clear that Bannon is legally entitled to vote in Florida. The law in Florida states that one cannot vote there unless they are legal residents of the state and county where they register to vote. Legal reidency is defined as the place "where a person mentally intends to make his or her permanent residence".
This news comes after Trump has proclaimed that the votes are rigged against him. The LA Times reports that in a mid-August rally, speaking to mainly white rural supporters in Pennsylvania, he instructed "maybe you should go or volunteer or do something...We're going to watch Pennsylvania, go down and watch and study, and make sure other people don't come in and vote five times". Trump's words were interpreted by some to be steeped in racism, a "dog whistle" and even an incitement to violence. He has repeated similar remarks in rallies since.
More, deliberately submitting a false voting registration is a third-degree felony that can result in up to a five year prison sentence.
The LA Times report adds that these remarks came shortly after a federal court struck down a voter ID law in North Carolina, a hotly contested state in the election. These law "targeted African-Americans 'with almost surgical precision' in an effort to suppress the black vote', the court found".