Restraining order filed against Miss. GOP

A conservative election-watching organization has filed a motion for a restraining order against the Mississippi Republican Party, declaring it has evidence of tampering in runoff records.

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True the Vote, which filed the motion with the Jackson Division of the U.S. District Court on Wednesday, claims it has “dozens of full detailed affidavit reports” detailing incidences of vote tampering. The alleged misconduct includes “destruction of  voters’ absentee ballot applications and mandatory envelopes, illegal alteration of poll books, cross-over and double voting, absentee ballots marked 'Accepted' but unopened.”

"Defendant county commissioners have continued to violate federal law by preventing access to election records. Now, we think we know why,” True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement

"If the affidavits we now have regarding the destruction of election documents and other similarly stunning findings are true, then no Mississippian, no American, can trust the results of this election."

Mississippi GOP Chairman Joe Nosef dismissed the complaint, saying in a statement that the group “continues in its attempts to make a mockery of our legal system.” 

“While their legal filings literally make no claim at all against the MSGOP, their public statements indicate otherwise in an effort to mislead Mississippi voters,” he said.

Nosef mentioned True the Vote’s initial lawsuit against the Mississippi secretary of State and the Mississippi GOP, which called for immediate access to unredacted election records, as further evidence of its “mockery.”

He also said the state party now plans to take action against the group.

“We will not only defend ourselves but will seek sanctions against every single plaintiff because of this frivolous litigation brought against the MSGOP,” Nosef said.

Though Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) was declared winner of the race two weeks ago, leading by 7,667 votes, his primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, has not conceded and has been collecting evidence to challenge the results of the election in court.

The ongoing saga has drawn the attention and resources of a number of national conservative figures and groups supportive of McDaniel. The Senate Conservatives Fund contributed $70,000 to his legal fund to contest the results earlier this week, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called for an investigation into the election.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the Missouri Republican Party called on Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to create a task force to investigate what he labeled "racially divisive ads and robocalls,” which he said he was concerned were connected to Republican National Committee member Henry Barbour.

Others, however, have urged McDaniel to concede and close the book on the race. Commentator Ann Coulter, who has historically been supportive of conservative challengers, told McDaniel to end the fight in an op-ed published Wednesday.

She wrote that “even in cases of actual vote fraud, history shows that the contesting politicians get branded as sore losers and destroy their political careers.”

“Better to be magnanimous and live to fight another day,” she added.

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