McDaniel accuses Mississippi’s secretary of State of 'misleading' clerks

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Mississippi Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel said his campaign had discovered "over 8,300 questionable ballots cast" in his narrow loss to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in last month’s Republican primary runoff.

"For the last two weeks, more than two hundred volunteers for from all over Mississippi have worked tirelessly in an effort to gain access to election records in order to ensure the integrity of the primary process in Mississippi," McDaniel said in a statement on Friday. "We have found over 8,300 questionable ballots cast, many of which were unquestionably cast by voters ineligible to participate in the June 24th runoff election."

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McDaniel, who lost the runoff by 7,667 votes, also accused Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann of blocking his campaign from accessing voting records by giving local clerks misleading information on who could examine the data.

"As a result of the misleading information coming from the Secretary of State's office, many Clerks were confused about proper disclosure of election materials to the candidates," McDaniel said. "This has forced the Clerks and my team to needlessly expend resources on mandamus requests for materials that the statutes clearly say I am entitled to review."

McDaniel said in some 58 counties, Circuit Clerks had not allowed his volunteers to view unredacted poll books. 

In a statement to The Clarion-Ledger, Hosemann denied any wrongdoing. 

"As we have said repeatedly, and Chris knows well, this Agency has absolutely no statutory authority over locally elected Circuit Clerks,” Hosemann said. “Further, we have no poll books in this Office. That said, we call on all citizens of Mississippi to obey the law."

McDaniel said he would hold a press conference next Wednesday to discuss “our next steps” forward. The state senator has already vowed a legal fight over the election results.

 

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