It was a forceful condemnation — a vow to wipe out a serious crime. “I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states,” President Trump boomed on Twitter last week. But Trump’s social media decree missed a crucial fact: It’s not illegal to be registered to vote in multiple states. It is, however, a felony to cast ballots in more than one state — yet it rarely happens. Trump’s tweet storm about voter registration — and his unfounded claim that millions of illegal votes were cast for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in November — has cast a spotlight on voting procedures nationwide. That spotlight has revealed some ironies. Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, is registered in more than one state. The same is true for some of the president’s senior officials, including his pick to lead the Treasury Department, Steven Mnuchin, along with senior advisor Stephen K. Bannon and Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Even Gregg Phillips, creator of the app VoteStand — which helps Americans report perceived voter fraud — and who Trump has boasted is a guru on the issue, appears to be registered in Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, according to the Associated Press.
“We need a national voter ID number that travels with us from state to state,” Phillips tweeted on Monday in response to the AP story. “This double and triple registration problem would end quickly.”
A 2012 Pew Charitable Trusts study found that 2.75 million people were registered to vote in multiple states, usually because they had recently moved.
Kay Stimson, a spokeswoman for the National Assn. of Secretaries of State, says election officials strive to keep voter registration rolls accurate and up-to-date. “Sometimes a voter who has moved or has died ends up on more than one list until the jurisdiction receives notification of the change and can legally remove the voter from their list,” Stimson said.