President Donald Trump has announced that his administration will investigate instances of voter fraud during the 2016 presidential election to produce the evidence for his unsubstantiated assertions that illegal voting had cost him the popular vote. By Trump's criteria, his own White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is guilty of voter fraud.
On Jan. 25, Trump announced on social media that his administration would investigate his assertions of widespread voter fraud during the presidential election, according to The Washington Post.
"I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)," Trump tweeted out. "Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!"
Based on Trump's statement that being registered on the voting rolls of two different states constitutes voter fraud, Bannon would be in violation. On Election Day, the former Breitbart News CEO was registered to vote in both New York and Florida.
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On his voter registration form, Bannon listed his address in New York City and ultimately voted in the state by absentee ballot. Meanwhile, Bannon was also registered in Sarasota County, Florida.
In April 2014, Bannon had also registered to vote in Dale County, Florida, despite physically living in Laguna Beach, California. He had listed a house that he had rented for his ex-wife as his Florida address, and there is continuing controversy over whether or not he had ever occupied that home, according to the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
Bannon registered to vote in New York in October 2016, despite remaining on the Sarasota registry since August 2016. On Nov. 7, the day before the presidential election, he sent a letter to former Sarasota County Elections Supervisor Kathy Dent requesting to be removed from the Florida rolls. The current Sarasota county supervisor, Ron Turner, has stated that their office had never received the letter.
On Jan. 24, White House press secretary Sean Spicer had justified Trump's repeated assertions that millions of votes cast during the election were illegal by citing a 2012 Pew Research Study that found that 2.7 million registered voters were on the rolls of in two states or more.
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The author of that study, David Becker, has stated that they did not find evidence that voters with multiple registrations had cast double ballots.
In November 2016, Trump had ignited controversy when he asserted without evidence that millions of illegal votes had cost him the popular vote.
"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," Trump tweeted out.
On Jan. 23, Trump repeated his assertion during a bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders. Spicer has stated that the president believes that between 3 million to 5 million illegal votes were cast during the election.