Donald Trump: All Talk, No Votes

Since he registered to vote in 1969, Trump has had more than 40 separate opportunities to vote on Election Day. But when it comes to stepping into a voting booth, Trump falls silent.


Donald Trump likes to lecture about how Ed Koch is duping the public and how, under the mayor’s lead­ership, the city has begun to fall apart. The developer/civics instructor talks a good game — and he has the newspaper clips to prove it — but when it comes to stepping into a voting booth, Trump falls silent.

Board of Elections records reveal that Trump, since registering as a Republican in October 1969, has voted a total of 10 times. Since the 1976 presidential total elec­tion, Trump has only voted three times. During this 11-year period, Trump has sat out the following races:

  • General elections for mayor, city council president, comptroller, and bor­ough president in 1977, 1981, and 1985. As a Republican, Trump was eligible to vote in his party’s primaries in those years as well. He missed them too.
  • Gubernatorial general elections in 1982 and 1986 as well as a Republican primary for governor in 1982.
  • State Senate and Assembly races in 1982 and 1986 as well as city council races in 1977, 1982, and 1985.

Since he registered to vote, Trump has had more than 40 separate opportunities to vote on Election Day. These elections involved more than 150 offices and hun­dreds of candidates.

Trump, 41, registers to vote out of his father’s home on Midland Parkway, Jamaica, but he has not lived there for years. His drivers license also carries the Queens address, but the developer actually splits his time between his pied-a-terre in Trump Tower and his mansion Greenwich, Connecticut.

State election law states that the ad­dress a voter registers from must be that voter’s legal residence. While Trump is technically violating this provision, this kind of deception is so widespread — among regular voters and elected office holders — prosecutions are unheard of.

According to a study by State Senator Franz Leichter, Trump appears to prefer to vote with his money. The developer has given more money — almost $250,000 — in the past five years to members of the Board of Estimates than any other individual.

Trump recently called for Koch to quit (“he can’t hack it anymore,” the developer has said), and was spurred by the mayor’s handling of negotiations to keep NBC from moving its headquarters to New Jersey, instead to to Trump’s Television City site on the West Side. The New Jersey property NBC is considering is owned by Leonard Stern, who also owns the Voice as well. Trump has also called for a special counsel to investigate the mayor’s role in the Myerson/Capasso/Gabel scandal that broke last week.

On Monday, the Post reported that Republican Leaders have decided to ask Trump to opposed Koch for reelection in 1989. A Trump spokesman told the Post that the developer “has no thoughts about running for mayor whatsoever.” The Voice could not reach Trump for comment about his lackluster voting record. ■

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 27, 2020