NBC News reports that Florida prosecutors are now investigating Donald Trump’s campaign chief executive Stephen Bannon after a report from The Guardian alleged that he is registered to vote in Florida, “at an empty house where he does not live.” Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart News, which has peddled myths about voter fraud for years.
Trump Campaign Chief Executive Being Investigated For Reportedly Being Registered To Vote In Florida In An Unoccupied Home
NBC News: “Florida Prosecutors Are Investigating The Voter Registration Of Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief,” Stephen Bannon. According to a report from NBC News, “Florida prosecutors are investigating the voter registration of Donald Trump's campaign chief,” Stephen Bannon. NBC News reported that “[e]lection officials in Miami-Dade County confirmed Tuesday that the local state attorney's office requested Stephen Bannon's voter records” after “The Guardian newspaper reported he was registered in a home in Miami that he rented for his ex-wife”:
Florida prosecutors are investigating the voter registration of Donald Trump's campaign chief, NBC News has learned.
Election officials in Miami-Dade County confirmed Tuesday that the local state attorney's office requested Stephen Bannon's voter records last week.
“I know that there is an investigation but I know very little about it,” said Rosy Pastrana, executive assistant to the county's election supervisor. “They requested voter records for him, which is why I know there is an investigation going on.”
Bannon was named CEO of the Trump campaign during a shakeup in mid-August. His voter registration and residency drew scrutiny last week when the Guardian newspaper reported he was registered at a home in Miami that he rented for his ex-wife. Conservative writer and Trump supporter A.J. Delgado told NBC News she visited Bannon there, but an owner of the home told reporters it had been empty for months. [NBC News, 8/31/16]
Under Bannon, Breitbart News Has Spent Years Pushing Myths About “Voter Fraud” And “Rigged” Elections
Breitbart News: Obamacare “'The Biggest Voter Registration Fraud Scheme In The History Of The World.” Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle wrote that “Several election integrity activists have alleged that” Obamacare “does not appear to have been an effort to conduct healthcare reform” and that it may have “had a political motive.” Boyle cited Gregg Phillips of the group Voters Trust, who said that the Affordable Care Act “is the biggest voter registration fraud scheme in the history of the world”:
Conservatives point to the Obamacare website exploiting a strange loophole in the National Voting Rights Act to question whether the President’s signature healthcare law had a political motive, as well.
Several election integrity activists have alleged that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Obamacare, does not appear to have been an effort to conduct healthcare reform to fix what was described in 2009 and 2010 as a broken healthcare system.
The law passed Congress with just Democratic Party support. Instead of being an honest attempt to fix America’s healthcare woes, “I think [it] is the biggest voter registration fraud scheme in the history of the world,” said Gregg Phillips, the founder of the election integrity group Voters Trust, in an interview with Breitbart News Wednesday morning. [Breitbart.com, 10/30/13]
Breitbart News: Court Decision “Mandating That Drivers’ Licenses Be Distributed To Illegal Immigrants” “Puts Us Firmly On The Road Toward Serious Voter Fraud.” In an article titled “8 Reasons To Close The Border Now,” then-editor-at-large of Breitbart News Ben Shapiro cited “voter fraud” as a reason to close the southern border of the United States:
Voter Fraud. The left dismisses the possibility of voter fraud while simultaneously declaring that voter ID is racist. But today’s decision from an Arizona court mandating that drivers’ licenses be distributed to illegal immigrants who will not be deported by the Obama administration puts us firmly on the road toward serious voter fraud. [Breitbart.com, 7/8/14]
Breitbart News: “Obama Is President As The Result Of Election Fraud. We Have Obamacare Because Of Election Fraud.” In an article titled “Non-Citizen Votes May Have Tipped 2008 Election For Obama,” Fitton claimed that “foreign nationals have been in a position to help Democrats steal elections”:
Polls like that are hypothetical, of course, because it is illegal for foreign nationals to vote in federal elections. But a new academic study shows foreign nationals have been in a position to help Democrats steal elections. In fact, the study demonstrates that it is likely that President Obama won the presidency thanks to non-citizens illegally voting for him in 2008. On top of that stunning conclusion, the study also concludes that “non-citizen votes likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.”
If this study’s results are accurate, the implications are startling: Obama is president as the result of election fraud. We have Obamacare because of election fraud. We have Dodd-Frank because of election fraud. We have Solyndra because of election fraud.
Without the election fraud that put Obama in office, there’d be no lawless amnesty for illegal aliens, no Operation Fast and Furious, no Obama IRS assault on Americans. [Breitbart.com, 11/3/14]
Breitbart News: “Voter Fraud Can Make The Difference Between The Will Of The People And The Wiles Of The Political Elite.” In a 2014 article on Breitbart News, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton argued that “voter fraud can make the difference between the will of the people and the wiles of the political elite.” Fitton also claimed that college students pose a great risk for “out-of-state residents to vote illegally”:
In close elections, voter fraud can make the difference between the will of the people and the wiles of the political elite. That’s why we sent this team of lawyers and volunteer observers to New Hampshire on Election Day as part of our Election Integrity Project, which is directed by Robert Popper, a seasoned attorney and former Deputy Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Voting Section. Our goal is to prevent voter fraud so legitimate voters are not disenfranchised.
What our team found in New Hampshire was disturbing.
They saw many individuals submitting affidavits in lieu of any actual photo IDs. They also saw extremely high rates of same-day registration. At most of the sites we visited, the same-day registration rate varied between 6-10 percent of all those voting. At one site, the rate was an extraordinary 12.7 percent, or about one out of every 8 voters. At another site, there were at one point three individuals waiting to vote—while another 17 individuals were waiting to same-day register. And some of them had Massachusetts T-shirts.
A major challenge to ballot integrity in New Hampshire, and in other parts of the country, stems from the practice of same-day registration. This procedure allows an individual to register to vote on Election Day at any polling site and then to walk over to the voting booths and cast a ballot. This is a problem for obvious reasons. For starters, state officials do not have time to confirm the validity of the registration.Even when there is good reason to suspect a fraudulent vote, the only response is a meaningless post-election investigation.
The person who gave a false name and address is long gone, leaving nothing but false paperwork. More to the point, in any case where fraud is suspected but not proved, the resulting vote still counts. There’s also a huge opening for students and other out-of-state residents to vote illegally thanks to permissive “domicile” requirements.
In the meantime, we will do the work of the Justice Department, which has no interest in investigating voter fraud of the sort that may have helped elect President Obama and other leftists. Our Election Integrity Project will expand its work as we plan to monitor elections in additional states in the 2016 presidential election. [Breitbart.com, 11/17/14]
Breitbart News Hyped A “Drugs For Votes Scheme” In A 2012 School Board Election. According to Breitbart News,A federal judge in Texas sentenced political campaign workers “to prison for their role in buying votes with cocaine, cash, beer and cigarettes” in “the 2012 school board election” in Donna, Texas:
A federal judge in the Texas border city of McAllen delivered some harsh words to a campaign manager and a campaign worker as he sentenced them to prison for their role in buying votes with cocaine, cash, beer and cigarettes.
The election that Hinojosa was referring to was the 2012 school board election in Donna. As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Donna ISD has a long history of corruption that continues to this day where school board members squander taxpayer’s money in lucrative contracts at will. The most recent contract deals with the hiring of a convicted felon as the school attorney at a rate of $300,000.
In regards to the voter fraud case, Francisco “Frankie Garcia and Diana Castaneda along with several others had previously pleaded guilty to giving cocaine bags, beer, cigarettes and payments of $5 to $10 to voters so they would elect their candidates, Breitbart Texas previously reported. In addition to buying the votes, Judge Hinojosa also said that Garcia had individuals abuse voter assistance services by going into the ballot box with elderly individuals and voting for them. Garcia also had people like Castaneda go visit elderly people at home and pay them so they could fill out their early voting ballots. [Breitbart.com, 2/25/15]
Breitbart News: “Undercover Video Purports To Show Hillary Campaign Violating Election Law.” Breitbart News’ John Nolte highlighted an undercover video by James O’Keefe Project Veritas that “purports to show Nevada-based Hillary Clinton campaign staffers and volunteers ignoring and knowingly violating Nevada’s voter registration laws” by promoting Clinton while registering voters it”:
An undercover video published Thursday by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas purports to show Nevada-based Hillary Clinton campaign staffers and volunteers ignoring and knowingly violating Nevada’s voter registration laws. Moreover, the video appears to show that this conduct is being condoned and encouraged by a local attorney who works for the Clinton campaign.
The video appears to show that numerous Hillary Clinton campaign staffers are well aware of the law. Nevertheless, the video shows them laughing at the law and repeatedly bragging about violating it by promoting Hillary Clinton verbally and with campaign literature as they attempt to register potential voters. [Breitbart.com, 9/10/15]
In-Person Voter Fraud Is Not A Pervasive Problem In The United States, As Breitbart News Alleges
Loyola University Study: Just 31 Cases Of In-Person Voter Fraud Found In More Than 1 Billion Votes. According to a 2014 study conducted by Loyola University law professor Justin Levitt, there were only 31 credible allegations of in-person voter fraud among the more than 1 billion votes cast in " elections from 2000 through 2014." According to Levitt, in-person voter fraud is the only type of fraud voter ID laws are “designed to stop” :
Election fraud happens. But ID laws are not aimed at the fraud you'll actually hear about. Most current ID laws (Wisconsin is a rare exception) aren't designed to stop fraud with absentee ballots (indeed, laws requiring ID at the polls push more people into the absentee system, where there are plenty of real dangers). Or vote buying. Or coercion. Or fake registration forms. Or voting from the wrong address. Or ballot box stuffing by officials in on the scam. In the 243-page document that Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel filed on Monday with evidence of allegedly illegal votes in the Mississippi Republican primary, there were no allegations of the kind of fraud that ID can stop.
Instead, requirements to show ID at the polls are designed for pretty much one thing: people showing up at the polls pretending to be somebody else in order to each cast one incremental fake ballot. This is a slow, clunky way to steal an election. Which is why it rarely happens. [The Washington Post, 8/7/14, via Media Matters]
Academic Studies Have Found Very Little Voter Fraud. The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham noted “there is overwhelming scholarly and legal consensus that voter fraud is vanishingly rare”:
But there is overwhelming scholarly and legal consensus that voter fraud is vanishingly rare, and in fact non-existent at the levels imagined by voter ID proponents.
The Politics of Voter Fraud, by Lorraine Minnite of Columbia University. Minnite concludes that voter fraud is exceedingly rare, and that the few allegations in the record usually turn out to be something other than voter fraud: “a review of news stories over a recent two year period found that reports of voter fraud were most often limited to local races and individual acts and fell into three categories: unsubstantiated or false claims by the loser of a close race, mischief and administrative or voter error.”
Fraudulent Votes, Voter Identification and the 2012 US General Election, by John Ahlquist and Kenneth R. Mayer of the University of Wisconsin, and Simon Jackman of Stanford. The authors conducted a survey experiment “to measure the prevalence of two speciﬁc types of voter fraud: repeat/fraudulent ballot casting and vote buying.” Their conclusion: “The notion that voter impersonation is a widespread behavior is totally contradicted by these data.”
Voter Identifications Laws, by Minnite again. “In 95 percent of so-called 'cemetery voting' alleged in the 2010 midterm election in South Carolina, human error accounts for nearly all of what the state's highest law enforcement official had informed the U.S. Department of Justice was fraud.”
Caught in the Act: Recent Federal Election Fraud Cases, by Delia Bailey of the Washington University in St. Louis. Bailey unearthed only nine federal election fraud cases occurring between 2000 and 2005.
They Just Do Not Vote Like They Used To: A Methodology to Empirically Assess Election Fraud, by M.V. Hood III of the University of Georgia and William Gillespie of Kennesaw State University. “After examining approximately 2.1 million votes cast during the 2006 general election in Georgia, we find no evidence that election fraud was committed under the auspices of deceased registrants.” [The Washington Post, 7/9/14]
Voter Impersonation Is “More Rare Than Getting Struck By Lightning.” According to 2007 report by the Brennan Center for Justice, instances of the type of voter impersonation that voter ID laws are designed to stop are “more rare than getting struck by lightning” :
The most common example of the harm wrought by imprecise and inflated claims of “voter fraud” is the call for in-person photo identification requirements. Such photo ID laws are effective only in preventing individuals from impersonating other voters at the polls -- an occurrence more rare than getting struck by lightning. [Brennan Center For Justice, 2007]
And Voter ID Laws Have Disproportionately Disenfranchised Minorities
Latin Post: Latinos And African-Americans Are Affected By Voting Restrictions “More Than Other Ethnic Groups.” The Latin Post explained why, ahead of the Wisconsin primaries, ethnic minority advocates were worried about the disenfranchising effect the state's voter ID laws could have on local Latinos and African-Americans. The article noted that those groups are affected by voting restrictions “more than other ethnic groups,” often because they lack the resources to access adequate IDs, or lack necessary information on how to acquire them:
The biggest problem with Wisconsin's stricter voter law isn't how it disproportionately affected minorities and the impoverished, or how they jump deterrent hoops for rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The experience leaves potential voters disenfranchised.
“Our community doesn't have the information. There hasn't been a lot of information provided on how easy this is,” said Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota. “A lot of people don't know where to go.”
Some aren't aware that they already had an acceptable ID, others give up on the process altogether.
Up to 300,000 Wisconsin voters did not possess a valid ID for the 2012 presidential election, according to a study executed by University of Georgia professor M.V. Hood III. A second report found the number closer to 350,000 residents. Nearly one-third of voters live in Milwaukee County, which houses about 113,000 Latinos, or 39.5 percent of the state's Hispanic population.
Latinos are the fastest-growing voter base in the country, yet voting restrictions appear to affect them and African-Americans more than other ethnic groups. [Latin Post, 4/5/16]
ACLU: Minorities Are “Statistically Less Likely To Possess An Accepted Photo ID.” A 2012 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report by statisticians from the research firm Latino Decisions found that voters in Milwaukee County, WI, “are statistically less likely to possess an accepted photo ID,” with African-Americans “182 percent less likely” and Hispanics “206 percent less likely” to have ID than white voters. From the study:
As compared to eligible White voters, African American and Latino eligible voters in Milwaukee County are statistically less likely to possess an accepted photo ID.
Eligible African American voters are 182 percent less likely to possess an accepted photo ID, than are whites. Eligible Latino voters are 206 percent less likely to possess an accepted photo ID, than are whites.
Eligible Latino voters are statistically more likely to lack any documentary proof of citizenship, as compared to whites, and therefore less likely to have the necessary underlying documents to obtain an original Wisconsin DMV product.
As compared to eligible white voters, eligible African American and Latino voters are statistically less likely to both lack an accepted photo ID, and also lack the necessary underlying documents to obtain an original Wisconsin DMV product, creating a double burden for Blacks and Latinos.
Overall 2.4 percent of eligible white voters lack an accepted photo ID, and also lack the required underlying documents to obtain an original Wisconsin DMV product. In comparison, 4.5 percent of eligible Black voters lack an accepted ID and lack the ability to obtain one, and 5.9 percent of eligible Latino voters lack an accepted ID and lack the ability to obtain one. [American Civil Liberties Union, 4/23/12]
CityLab: New Study Finds Voter ID Laws Exacerbate Gap Between White Voter Turnout And Minority Voter Turnout. CityLab reported on a University of California, San Diego study that found that “no other demographic has as much difficulty as black and brown voters under [voter ID] laws” :
[A] trio of political scientists at the University of California San Diego say they're getting closer to the truth about the impact of voter ID laws: “For Latinos, Blacks, and multi-racial Americans there are strong signs that strict photo identification laws decrease turnout.”
This was a key finding in a new working paper from UCSD researchers Zoltan Hajnal, Nazita Lajevardi, and Lindsay Nielson, who compared voter turnout rates between states with voter ID laws and those without. According to their analysis, no other demographic has as much difficulty as black and brown voters under these laws. “The results are clear,” the researchers state plainly in the paper.
Their study shows how wide the racial gaps are in voter turnout between states with and without voter ID requirements. Looking at general election outcomes from 2008 to 2012, the researchers found that Latino turnout was 10.3 points lower in states where photo ID is necessary to vote than for Latinos in states where it is not. For primary elections, they found that states with strict photo voter ID laws depressed Latino turnout by 6.3 points compared to Latinos in non-voter ID states, and depressed African-American turnout by 1.6 points.
When looking at the voter turnout rates between whites and non-whites under voter ID laws, the guidelines continued to have a dampening effect. White voters already generally cast ballots at higher rates than Latino and black voters in most states, but that imbalance is intensified by voter ID requirements. In states where ID is not needed to vote, the gap between white and Latino turnout rates is just 5.3 percent in general elections. But that number jumps to 11.9 percent in states that do require ID. There's a 4.8 percent gap between black and white turnout in non-voter ID states compared with a 8.5 percent gap between black and white voters in voter ID states. [CityLab, 2/5/16]
UPDATE: The original headline for this piece said that “Trump Campaign CEO Was Allegedly Registered To Vote In Two States,” it has been updated for clarity.