Self-proclaimed “dirty trickster” Roger Stone was a highly visible presence during the 2016 election in support of Donald Trump‘s presidential ambitions — serving briefly as an official advisor to the campaign, then moving to a more informal role and continuing as an enthusiastic media surrogate for Trump — but he never bothered to actually cast a vote for him.
The Capitolist has learned that Stone last voted during the 2014 general election and did not vote at all during the 2016 election: not during Florida’s presidential primary in March, not during the primary election for congressional and local/state races in August, and not during the general election on November 8, 2016.
According to the commonly used campaign software WebElect, Stone is a resident of Broward County and first registered to vote as a Florida voter in 1997. The WebElect data confirms Stone’s voter history, showing several elections where he voted in the past, but zero votes cast during 2016. The Capitolist has redacted Stone’s personal information from the screenshot below, but the phone number and email address listed are ones that have been known to be Stone’s contact information for several years, and the birthdate and legal name match what has been previously publicly reported for him.
Stone’s lack of participation in the primaries might have been due to his party affiliation. In 2012, he announced on his blog that he had left the Republican Party and switched his registration to Libertarian. “To put it bluntly,” wrote Stone, “the Republican Party is hopelessly f*cked up,” predicting a coming “Libertarian moment” as the GOP went the way of the Whigs.
According to Stone, he cast a vote in the 2012 GOP presidential primary in Florida for Ron Paul as his “last official act as a Republican,” and the WebElect screenshot above confirms he did cast a vote in the January 31, 2012 election.
But despite Stone’s 2012 declaration that he was no longer a Republican, he jumped on the Trump Train from the very beginning of the campaign in 2015. He had plenty of time to change his voter registration back to the Republican Party in time for the January 2016 presidential primary. At minimum, his party registration would have offered no obstacle to voting in the November general election that year, and Stone himself urged other Libertarians to vote for Trump, as he discussed in a July 2016 interview with Reason.
And yet he did not vote. Florida makes voting fairly easy, especially for a longtime resident like Stone. Absentee ballots can be requested by mail, phone, or online, and no reason is needed. Early voting is also readily available, with multiple locations in a metropolitan city like Fort Lauderdale.
Another interesting wrinkle: the WebElect information currently shows Stone as a registered Republican.
It’s not clear whether Stone never actually legally changed his party registration, or whether he did change it and then switched back to Republican at some point recently. WebElect does say he voted in the August 2012 primary, which was highly unlikely to have contested Libertarian primary races in Broward County, but there could have been local races and ballot initiatives where he could have cast a vote as a Libertarian.
The Capitolist contacted the Broward County Supervisor of Elections to confirm this information, but has not yet heard a response. Other county supervisor of elections offices around Florida have access to the same data, so we contacted an employee of another Florida county and were able to confirm in the official state records that Stone had not cast a ballot in 2016.
It is theoretically possible that Stone did in fact vote in 2016 but the Broward records were never properly uploaded to the system. This is Broward County after all — the same office that illegally destroyed ballots from the Tim Canova vs. Debbie Wasserman Schultz 2016 primary contest — but that seems extraordinarily unlikely, especially since so much of the other information from Stone’s WebElect data file has been independently confirmed.
The Capitolist called the phone number listed in the voter records for Stone but received no answer, and sent an email to Stone asking for comment. If he replies, we will update the article with his response.
UPDATE: Patricia Santiago, assistant to Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, returned our call. Santiago confirmed that Stone did not vote in any 2016 election. She also confirmed that Stone did in fact change his party registration to Libertarian in 2012, and then changed it back to Republican in 2017. According to that information, then, Stone would not have been able to vote in the 2016 primaries without first changing his party registration, but he still could have voted in the general election.
UPDATE #2: Stone emailed the following reply on Saturday:
I intended to vote in Florida on election day 2016 but was unable to do so because of a work Assignment in Austin.I switched to the Libertarian Party in 2012 and switched back to the GOP after Donald Trump’s hostile take over of the Republican [Party].I note with relief that Trump did not fail to carry Florida by one vote.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.
[Cross-posted at RedState.]