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Can Nicki Minaj Even Vote for Andrew Cuomo?

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Nicki Minaj attends Marc Jacobs SS18 fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Park Avenue Armory on September 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)

Yesterday on Twitter, Nicki Minaj offered her official endorsements in three statewide New York primary races to be decided today, imploring her followers to vote for incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Lieutenant Governor Katy Hochul, as well as upstart Attorney General candidate Letitia “Tish” James. Minaj’s thunderous endorsement of Cuomo in particular makes some sort of sense in that both have a large appetite for carrying on petty and largely unproductive feuds, but it’s also a surprise, given that he is running against Cynthia Nixon, the ex-Sex and the City star who has made issues related to both women and people of color central to her campaign. Many of Minaj’s fans saw that contradiction, filling the replies to her tweet with surprise and exasperation that Minaj would throw her weight behind Cuomo.

Minaj concluded her tweet—which comes off as suspiciously worded in a very formal manner (Gov. Cuomo’s office did not reply to questions regarding any coordination with Minaj)—by telling her followers that she would see them at the polls. 

But will she really? New York keeps a searchable database of registered voters, which requires you to input a person’s first and last names, date of birth, zip code, and county of residence. We searched Minaj’s stage name, government name (Onika Maraj), and all known New York-based addresses associated with her in public records databases, none of which showed a voter registration connected to her name. By this measure, at least, it doesn’t appear as if Minaj can vote in the state of New York. (Representatives for Minaj said they would get back to us on a request for comment.)

Furthermore, it’s unclear whether Minaj even has a permanent residency in New York, which would be a requirement to vote in the state. Public records show that Minaj’s name is attached to an address in Jamaica, Queens, where she was raised, but is now primarily registered to an address in an office building in Atlanta. Minaj does not own property under her name in New York according to the city’s ACRIS database, though it would not be unusual for a celebrity to own property through something like an LLC. (Minaj could also be renting in New York, but that would’ve required her to notify the state’s Board of Elections 20 days prior to today’s primary.) According to published reports, she most recently lived in a mansion in Beverly Hills, which was eventually rented by Mariah Carey.

We will update this post if Minaj’s team confirms that she is registered to vote in New York. If you or anyone else has seen Minaj at the polls in New York today, let us know at [email protected]. Cardi B, for what it’s worth, is a registered Democrat in New York’s sixth district.