Trump tried to register to vote in Florida with out-of-state address, reports say

James Crump
Donald and Melania Trump voting during the 2016 presidential election: (Getty Images)

President Donald Trump attempted to register to vote in Florida last year, despite claiming that his legal residence was in Washington, DC, according to reports.

Florida requires people who vote in their elections to legally reside in the state, but Mr Trump initially listed his legal residence as the White House when he attempted to register to vote last year.

According to his registration form, that was obtained by the Washington Post, in September 2019, Mr Trump initially put the White House down as his legal residence, but wrote that he was a “bona fide resident” of Palm Beach, Florida.

A month later, Mr Trump resubmitted his form, and this time put his Mar-a-Lago resort, located in Palm Beach, down as his legal residence, according to the paper.

Mr Trump was registered to vote in the state after his second submission, and the president voted by mail in the Republican primary held in Florida, in March 2020.

Mr Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, changed their legal residence from Washington DC to Florida last year.

Sources close to the president told the New York Times that the decision was made for tax reasons, but Mr Trump has not made the reason public.

The maximum penalty for submitting false information when registering to vote in Florida, is a $5,000 (£3,974) fine and five years in prison.

A city manager who put the wrong residence on his form was recently fined the maximum amount, but avoided jail time.

Mr Trump has spoken publicly against people being able to vote by mail in this year’s presidential election, citing falsely that it will cause a large increase in voting fraud.

Officials from both the Democratic and Republican parties have called for voting by mail to be extended for the November election, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, the president tweeted: “The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history.”

He then added, falsely and without citing any evidence, that “people grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and ‘force’ people to sign. Also, forge names.”

The Independent has reached out to the White House for comment.

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