Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, who parroted his boss’ unfounded claims that voter fraud cost him the 2020 election, may have engaged in questionable voting behavior himself. According to a report from The New Yorker, Meadows filled out a form registering to vote in North Carolina on Sept. 19, 2020, and where the form asked for the address “where you physically live,” he listed a mobile home on a mountain that his wife had briefly rented.
But according to the former owner of the mobile home, which measures 14 by 62 feet, Meadows never visited the property. “He did not come. He’s never spent a night in there,” the owner, who declined to be named, said of Meadows. The owner told the magazine that Meadows’s wife, Debbie Meadows, rented the property for two months sometime in the last few years (but could not recall specific dates) and only stayed for two nights. Another time, the owner rented the mobile home to Debbie and the Meadows children visited. At the time Meadows filled out the voter registration form, the magazine said he did not own any property, having recently sold his home in Sapphire, N.C.
Last year the prior owner sold the property, which is now owned by Ken Abele. Abele told The New Yorker that he was surprised Meadows would have stayed at the house considering the condition it was in. “I’ve made a lot of improvements,” Abele said, explaining he had done work on the mobile home since he purchased it. “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.”
When the magazine told Abele that Meadows listed the address as his residence, Able responded, “That’s weird he would do that. Really weird.”
The New Yorker also spoke with the director of Macon County’s Board of Elections about Meadows’ registration. “I’m kind of dumbfounded, to be honest with you,” Melanie D. Thibault said. “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.”
A North Carolina attorney who sits on the Wake County Board of Elections, Gerry Cohen, weighed in on the matter as well. “If Debra Meadows stayed there a single night, and Mark Meadows didn’t stay there, then he didn’t meet the abode test,” Cohen told The New Yorker. If Meadows was wrong to list the address as his domicile, North Carolina law states that a candidate or voter can challenge an individual’s voter registration. But the state places the burden on the challenger to prove the voter never lived at their listed residence. That can be difficult to do.
While there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election on a scale that would have changed the results, a handful of cases have been prosecuted. Organizations like the ACLU have pointed out that voter fraud prosecutions and convictions have been unfairly doled out, with disparities along racial lines. While black women like Crystal Mason and Pamela Moses have been convicted and jailed for voting while on probation, people like Bruce Bartman, a white man who unlawfully voted for Trump on behalf of his dead mother, have gotten away with just probation.
Meadows may still face prosecution on another matter. The Jan. 6 committee has referred him to the Department of Justice on criminal contempt charges for refusing to cooperate with their investigation.