This post has been updated.
White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon was registered to vote in both New York and Florida for several months, even though he sent a letter trying to get himself removed from the rolls in Florida, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Bannon registered to vote in New York on Oct. 14, 2016, and cast an absentee ballot there, according to New York City elections officials. At the time, he was serving as chief executive of now-President Trump's campaign. But he was also registered in Sarasota County, Fla., where he had been on the voter rolls since Aug. 25, officials said.
White House officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On the day before the Nov. 8 election, Bannon sent a letter to then-Sarasota County Elections Supervisor Kathy Dent, informing her that he had moved to New York and requesting that he be removed from the rolls, according to a person familiar with the letter who shared details about it with The Washington Post.
Since the letter was sent Nov. 7, it is unlikely it would have arrived before Election Day. However, on Wednesday, Sarasota elections officials said they still had no record of receiving it. “None of us recall getting it,” said the current elections supervisor, Ron Turner, who took office in January after previously serving as the agency's chief of staff.
Turner said elections officials are looking into why they did not receive Bannon's letter. In the meantime, after reading news reports noting Bannon's dual registration, Turner said he confirmed with New York officials that Bannon was registered in their jurisdiction and took him off the rolls in Sarasota County as of Wednesday.
Meanwhile, voting registration records show that Trump's youngest daughter, Tiffany, is registered at addresses in Philadelphia and in New York, as Heat Street first reported.
The news of their dual voter registrations comes as Trump calls for “a major investigation” into his unsubstantiated claim that millions of illegal votes were cast in November's elections. Administration officials have yet to provide any evidence of such voter fraud.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that a study by Pew showed a high rate of voting by noncitizens. In fact, a 2012 Pew Center on the States study identified a different problem: that rolls contained millions of inaccurate voter registrations because of people who moved or had died.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the investigation into “VOTER FRAUD” would include “those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal” and “those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time).”
Bannon's situation shows how easily out-of-date registrations can linger on the books. While elections officials are supposed to inform other states when they register a voter who had been previously registered elsewhere, there is no single unified system to reconcile voter registration records. Twenty states and the District of Columbia participate in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a nonprofit organization that helps exchange such information, but Florida is not one of them.
Absent that system, Florida officials rely on other state election offices to call and inform them if they receive a registration from a former Florida voter. “For whatever reason, that did not occur in that case,” Turner said.
One likely reason: New York's voter registration form does not provide a place for voters to identify where they have previously been registered, city officials there confirmed.
Turner said Sarasota County works to maintain and update its rolls once a year, using change of address information provided by the U.S. Postal Service. But sometimes it can take a few years for an out-of-date registration to be flagged, he noted.
“We want to have the most accurate rolls possible, so we do what we can with the information available to use as elections officials,” he said. “The voters need to help us out with that. We do the best we have with the information we have.”
However, Turner said that in his six years at the elections office, he has not seen any evidence that voters have sought to take advantage of being registered in two jurisdictions to cast two ballots. “Not to my knowledge,” he said.