Bannon Registered to Vote at Vacant House in Florida
Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.
Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development.
“I have emptied the property,” Luis Guevara, the owner of the house, which is in the Coconut Grove section of the city, said in an interview. “Nobody lives there … we are going to make a construction there.” Neighbors said the property had been abandoned for several months.
Bannon, Clohesy and Trump’s campaign repeatedly declined to answer detailed questions about Bannon’s voting arrangements. Jason Miller, a Trump campaign spokesman, eventually said in an email: “Mr Bannon moved to another location in Florida.” Miller declined to answer further questions.
Bannon is executive chairman of the rightwing website Breitbart News, which has for years aggressively claimed that voter fraud is rife among minorities and in Democratic-leaning areas. The allegation has been repeated forcefully on the campaign trail by Trump, who has predicted the election will be “rigged” and warned supporters that victory could be fraudulently “taken away from us”.
Under Florida law, voters must be legal residents of the state and of the county where they register to vote. Guidelines from the Florida department of state say that Florida courts and state authorities have defined legal residency as the place “where a person mentally intends to make his or her permanent residence”.
Wilfully submitting false information on a Florida voter registration – or helping someone to do so – is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Election officials in Miami-Dade make clear to prospective voters that they are required to actually live in the county and to use their home address in election paperwork. “You must reside in Miami-Dade County,” their website states. It adds: “When you register to vote, an actual residence address is required by law.” A county spokeswoman did not respond to questions relating to Bannon’s situation.