Did Trump Break NY Election Rules When Filming A Bit For Access Hollywood?

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August 4, 2016 6:15 p.m.

Donald Trump has had a lot to say of late about the possibility of a “rigged” election and voter fraud. But back in 2004, he didn’t appear too keen on following election rules himself.

He filmed a segment for Access Hollywood on Election Day back then in which correspondent Billy Bush was supposed to accompany him to the polling place where he would vote. But the bit didn’t appear to go so smoothly. Trump went to three different polling places, where workers could not find his name in their rolls, at least, according the segment. So finally he gave up and said he would just fill out a provisional ballot instead.

In typical Trump-ian fashion, the cameras filmed Trump filing out the ballot in his limo, rather than in one of the dingy polling places he visited.

“I just voted. At least you can say the Trumpster doesn’t give up,” Trump told the cameras upon completing the ballot.

The problem? New York’s election rules require that voters casting provisional ballot do so from the polling site.

“You can’t leave the polling place with it,” John Conklin, a spokesman for the New York State Board of Elections told TPM, confirming that this was also the law in 2004.

He said that if someone went to a polling site, signed into the polling book, grabbed a provisional ballot and left, they wouldn’t be able to turn it back in.

“If you came back in,” Conklin said, “[the poll workers would have said], ‘Who are you?’ …They would look at the poll book, and say, ‘You already voted.'”

The Access Hollywood segment did not show Trump making an attempt to return his provisional ballot, so it could be that Trump simply filled out the ballot from his limo just for show.

TPM asked the Trump campaign whether he tried to vote with the provisional ballot he filled out in his limo. The campaign has not responded to TPM’s inquiry.

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