Former Gov. Paul LePage, who is running for his old office, remains an active voter in Florida

·3 min read

Jul. 1—Last summer, former Gov. Paul LePage posted a photograph on Facebook showing himself putting "these shiny new plates" on his car and telling friends he is "so glad to be officially back home here in Maine."

In that July 9 post, he also mentioned that he had "registered to vote last week" in Maine after returning from a year-and-a-half sojourn in Florida.

Records show that LePage voted in Maine last fall in the town of Edgecomb.

But LePage, who could not be reached for comment, remains a registered voter in the state of Florida, though he does not appear to have voted there since returning to Maine. He is, though, registered to vote in both Maine and Florida, a situation that is common when people move across state lines.

Few people bother to notify registrars of their departure to a new home in a different state despite a legal obligation to do so. Like LePage, they don't actually cast ballots in their former home state so their duplicate registrations have no bearing on election outcomes.

LePage registered as a Republican on Jan. 2, 2019, in Ormond Beach and has apparently never taken steps to indicate to officials in Florida that he's moved back to the Pine Tree State he governed for eight years after winning office in 2010.

LePage, who filed for a new gubernatorial run Thursday as a resident of Edgecomb, is violating Florida law by neglecting to remove his name from the voter rolls in Flagler County.

Florida law requires that "when an elector changes his or her residence address, the elector must notify the supervisor of elections" in their home county.

If LePage did so, the records were never updated. As of midday Thursday, a year after registering in Maine, LePage is still listed as a registered voter living at 40 Gale Lane in Ormond Beach, a home his wife Ann purchased in 2018 and still owns.

The Florida Division of Elections tells voters who are no longer Florida residents that they should "send written notice to the supervisor of elections of the county of your former residence to cancel your Florida registration."

There is no penalty attached to violating the Florida statute requiring a voter who moves to notify the registrar in his county.

Registering in multiple states is an issue that former President Donald Trump once complained about.

"When you look at the people that are registered: dead, illegal and two states, and some cases maybe three states — we have a lot to look into," Trump told ABC News in 2017 during a discussion of alleged fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

A 2012 study found nearly 3 million people on the rolls across America in more than one state, a consequence of moving across state lines.

In 2018, LePage told friendly radio hosts that if Democrat Janet Mills won the governor's race to succeed him, he would leave Maine.

"I'll be a resident of Florida if Janet Mills wins," said LePage, who was prohibited from running for a third term. "I'm going to retire and go to Florida. I'm done with politics. I've done my eight years. It's time for somebody else."

But he wasn't in Florida long before he started talking about running for his old office again.

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