White House adviser Jared Kushner did not register to vote in his hometown New York City as a female, contrary to breathless reporting on the subject this week.
The idea that Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump, registered as a woman first came from American Bridge, a Democratic opposition research group founded by activist David Brock.
Citing information provided by American Bridge, the magazine Wired reported on Wednesday that Kushner registered to vote in 2009 as a female.
The story gained traction because Kushner has been involved in a series of paperwork mixups during his short tenure in the White House and also because the Trump administration has led a push against voter fraud.
The former real estate executive has had to correct filings he’s submitted for security clearances on several occasions. The voter registration snafu was cited as the latest in a string of embarrassing errors.
“Kushner can’t even fill out the most basic paperwork without screwing it up, so it’s a mystery why anyone thinks he’s somehow going to bring peace to the Middle East,” American Bridge spokesman Brad Bainum told Wired.
“Would anyone but the president’s son-in-law still have a West Wing job after repeated disclosure errors and a botched a security clearance form?” he continued.
But The New York Daily News threw cold water on the story and the numerous reports that circulated it across the web.
The newspaper obtained a copy of Kushner’s voter registration paperwork from Sept. 1, 2011 which clearly shows that Kushner checked the “Male” box on the form.
American Bridge and Wired relied on an entry in Nexis, a public records database used by reporters, attorneys and investigators. The entry for Kushner’s 2009 voter registration in New York lists him as “female.”
While Nexis is generally reliable, its databases are known to sometimes list incorrect addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and other personal information. Reporters typically use the database for background research purposes.
Michael Ryan, the executive director of New York’s board of elections, told The Daily News that the entry was an error on his organization’s part.
“It does happen from time to time,” he told The Daily News.
A request for comment sent to Bainum received an automatic reply saying that he left American Bridge on Friday. An email sent to his replacement was not immediately returned.