Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows suffered a rather embarrassing setback last week. The former North Carolina congressman, facing an apparent election fraud investigation, was kicked off the state’s voter rolls. By any fair measure, the move made sense.
After all, there’s ample evidence the Republican was registered to vote at a rented mobile home where he’d never lived, and possibly never even visited. Nevertheless, when registering in 2020, the official materials directed Meadows to include the residential address where he “physically” lived and sign the document “under penalty of perjury.”
The problem, of course, was that Meadows was living in northern Virginia at the time. Indeed, public records showed that he voted in the commonwealth just last year.
The story became a little more complicated this week when The Post and Courier, the newspaper of record in Charleston, South Carolina, reported that Meadows now considers himself a resident of the Palmetto State. In fact, the Republican is a registered voter at the expensive home he bought last summer in South Carolina.
All of which left us with an unexpected question: Just how many states is (or was) Mark Meadows registered to vote in? A Washington Post report explained:
[I]t turns out that until last week, Meadows was simultaneously registered to vote in three different states — North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina — according to state records obtained by [the Post’s Glenn Kessler]. The overlap lasted about three weeks, and it might have continued if revelations about Meadows’s voting record had not attracted scrutiny in North Carolina. Meadows is still registered in Virginia and South Carolina.
It’s worth emphasizing that being registered in more than one state isn’t illegal. It sometimes happens when Americans move from one state to another.
It’s a problem when someone tries to cast a ballot from more than one state in the same election cycle, but at least for now, there’s nothing to suggest that Meadows did anything like that.
As a political matter, however, Donald Trump’s former right-hand man is confronting an inconvenient mess. The Meadows who’s eagerly touted ridiculous lies about a “rigged” election is the same Meadows who appears to have committed election fraud while being simultaneously registered in three different states.
In fact, among Meadows’ problems right now is his own rhetorical record. “Do you realize how inaccurate the voter rolls are, with people just moving around?” the Republican asked in August 2020. He later complained in his memoir about some people casting ballots despite not being “an actual resident of the state they were voting in.”
Or put another way, Meadows did precisely what he accused others of doing.