Chris McDaniel might need a miracle to succeed in his current challenge to the recent Mississippi Republican primary. The evidence so far is presented in a 228-page filing posted on his website. The tactics of Thad Cochran, pictured above, and his loyal friends, are downright tawdry as political primaries go but tawdry won’t be enough to meet legal standards.
On January 24th, Chris McDaniel filed a challenge with the State Executive Committee of the Mississippi Republican Party, claiming irregularities and fraud in the primary election against incumbent Thad Cochran.
Thad Cochran’s campaign worked Black Democratic districts, scaring the residents into believing McDaniel, photo above, was a Tea Party racist who wanted to keep them from voting.
There was an unusual and huge turnout of Democratic voters in the Republican primary after the campaign ran their ads and canvassed Democratic precincts. Some Democrats who voted had already voted in the Democratic primary and were not eligible to vote (crossover votes). There are also claims that the campaign paid them to vote.
Mitch Tyner, McDaniels’s lead attorney, said the campaign has found evidence of 3,500 crossover votes. Tyner also claimed to have found another 9,500 irregular votes and 2,275 absentee votes improperly cast in the run-off.
Tyner said McDaniel is not asking for another election but to be declared the proper winner of the runoff.
Cochran won by 7,667 votes.
Cochran’s campaign said they have under 1,000 crossover votes, not enough to win on the issue.
The complaint included accusations of race-baiting radio and Internet ads in Democratic precincts, social media statements, allegations of a vote buying scheme, and here-say comments made at the polls after voting.
The complaint relies on a pattern of behavior largely focusing on paperwork and procedural errors, such as missing signatures acknowledging chain of command and improperly secured ballot boxes.
McDaniel is suing for records in counties where he was denied access.
There are two recordings, one from a Pastor Fiedler and another from a poll worker named Julie Patrick.
Rev. Fiedler said that he was paid by the Cochran campaign to buy votes, statements he later rescinded, and he has since been accused of being paid to lie about the Cochran campaign. State Attorney General Jim Hood said last week that his office investigated and determined Fielder was paid to lie about vote buying, according to USA Today.
Julie Patrick attested to overhearing conversations by voters saying they were being paid to vote.
Mississippi has open primaries which allow people to register with one party and vote with the other party. USA Today reports that “there is a state law – which has been deemed unenforceable – that says someone should not vote in a primary unless they intend to support that party’s nominee in a general election. McDaniel’s complaint cites a poll of 433 Democrats who voted in the June 24 GOP primary that found 71 percent said they didn’t intend to support the Republican nominee in November. The complaint also notes that “social media sites were active” after the runoff with Democrats saying they voted for Cochran in the primary but would not in the general.”
McDaniel is possibly looking for a Hail Mary pass on this one.
Edited after publication to reflect an additional 200 pages of evidence.