The Slatest

New Trump Campaign Exec Seems to Have Committed Voter Fraud by Registering Illegally in Florida

Stephen Bannon hosts a radio show at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 20.


Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM

As Donald Trump has fallen further and further behind in the polls, he’s started to talk more and more about the conspiratorial idea that November’s general election is going to be “rigged” against him via voter fraud. “I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest,” he said earlier this month, later adding that “I’m telling you, November 8th, we’d better be careful.” More broadly, the dubious idea that Democrats engage in widespread electoral fraud is commonly discussed in hyperbolic terms on right-wing sites like Breitbart.

It is in this context that the Guardian’s report that new Trump campaign chief executive Stephen Bannon, who is also a Breitbart exec, seems to be committing voter fraud by claiming an unoccupied Florida house as his home address is so satisfyingly ironic:

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.

The newspaper notes that “Under Florida law, voters must be legal residents of the state and of the county where they register to vote” and that “[w]ilfully submitting false information on a Florida voter registration … is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.” The Los Angeles Times wrote last week that Bannon is a resident of Laguna Beach, California; he was registered to vote in California’s Orange County until 2014.

Politico reported Thursday night, meanwhile, that Bannon was charged with committing misdemeanor domestic violence against his then-wife in relation to a 1996 incident after which she told police that the couple had also had “three or four” previous arguments that “became physical.” Bannon pleaded not guilty to the charges and they were dismissed when his wife declined to appear in court as a witness.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.