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Mark Meadows Maybe Committed TINY Bit Of Voter Fraud In TINY North Carolina House
Oh how shocking.
Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows is full-throated promoter of the Big Lie. He demanded the Department of Justice investigate Italy for hacking our elections , based on unfounded internet rumors. He pushed vote fraud lies publicly on TV while actively working to overturn the presidential election Joe Biden won. However, it turns out some true voter fraud was right under Meadows’s nose.
When Meadows resigned his seat in the House to work as Trump’s flunky, he sold his home in Sapphire, North Carolina. Meadows and his wife, Debbie, also had a condo in Virginia, but that’s not North Carolina, which he still claimed as his official residence. The summer got away from them and fall approached without the Meadowses buying a new home in North Carolina.
On September 19th, about three weeks before North Carolina’s voter-registration deadline for the general election, Meadows filed his paperwork. On a line that asked for his residential address —“where you physically live,” the form instructs—Meadows wrote down the address of a fourteen-by-sixty-two-foot mobile home in Scaly Mountain. He listed his move-in date for this address as the following day, September 20th.
The Meadows went full tiny home! They could appear in an HGTV series if there was any evidence they’d actually lived in their Lilliputian palace.
According to the New Yorker , the Meadowses don’t own the Scaly Mountain, North Carolina, property, and it’s unclear whether Mark Meadows ever spent a single night there. (It’s 868 square feet, so still roomier than many New York apartments.) The previous owner, who wouldn’t give the New Yorker her name, currently lives in Florida. She told writer Charles Bethea that the tiny house was "just a summer home” and "seemed surprised to learn that the residence was listed on the Meadowses’ forms.”
Debbie Meadows had rented the house at one point, but vacation rentals aren’t permanent residences. A retail manager at Lowe’s named Ken Abele actually purchased the home in August 2021.
Abele said that he’d heard that the Meadows family stayed there in the fall of 2020, when they were in the area for a Trump rally, because nearby hotels were scarce. The realtor who facilitated his purchase, whom I was unable to reach before we went to press, told him this, he said, and the realtor had heard it from the Talleys. It struck him as odd. “I’ve made a lot of improvements,” Abele said, of the mobile home. “But when I got it, it was not the kind of place you’d think the chief of staff of the President would be staying.” I asked him what he made of Meadows listing the property as his place of residence on his voter-registration form. “That’s weird that he would do that,” he said. “Really weird.”
Yeah, it’s downright peculiar.
Bethea notes that it’s a "federal crime to provide false information to register to vote in a federal election.” The nation’s supposed “long and unfortunate history of election fraud,” documented on the Trump White House’s website, included people who registered to vote at false addresses. This includes second homes that are not someone’s primary residence. It’s not clear that the Scaly Mountain house is even the Meadowses' second or third residence.
The New Yorker spoke with Melanie D. Thibault, the director of Macon County’s Board of Elections, who said she was “kind of dumbfounded” about the whole situation.
“I looked up this Mcconnell Road, which is in Scaly Mountain, and I found out that it was a dive trailer in the middle of nowhere, which I do not see him or his wife staying in.” (It is not technically a trailer, but it is a modest dwelling.) She said that their registrations had arrived by mail and were entered into the system, and that a voter-registration card was sent to a P.O. Box they’d provided as their mailing address. “If that card makes it to the voter and it’s not sent back undeliverable, then the voter goes onto the system as a good voter,” she said. Meadows had voted absentee, by mail , in the 2020 general election, she added.
Gerry Cohen, one of the authors of North Carolina’s voter challenge statute, said that legally a “place of abode” is defined as somewhere you’ve spent at least one night and where you intend to remain indefinitely “or at least without a present intent to establish a domicile at some other place.” Debbie Meadows crashing for a night at the Scaly Mountain address isn’t sufficient to qualify her husband as a resident. A driver’s license, cable bill, W-2, or car registration listing the address is usually considered proof of residency, but the Scaly Mountain house didn’t even have a mailbox until recently. Abele installed one after buying the house and confirms that he’s never received any mail for the Meadowses.
Meadows might’ve kept this up because he’d planned to run for the Senate seat from North Carolina that Republican Richard Burr is vacating this year. No matter his intentions, normal people have faced prison time for making simple voter registration "mistakes." Lanisha Bratcher, a Black woman from Wake County, North Carolina, voted while on probation without knowing she was ineligible. Prosecutors threw the book at her. We doubt the state will be as harsh with Mark Meadows, should it be determined he committed a crime.
[ The New Yorker ]
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