Runoff Being Checked for Crossover Voting

By: Courtney Ann Jackson Email
By: Courtney Ann Jackson Email

Jackson, Miss. Chris McDaniel isn't laying down without a fight.

"We want to be clear. This is being done to maintain the integrity of the election process and that a fair and honest election was held on behalf of all Mississippians," said McDaniel in a written statement.

The Hinds County courthouse became ground zero in the search for irregular votes. A group of volunteers for McDaniel has requested to see the Democratic voter books. Hinds County Republican Party executive chairman, Pete Perry, says there's good reason for that.

“It’s the easiest way for a poll worker to be able to look and see," said Perry. "Instead of printing out a list that you’ve got to work from the list, when I look up your name I can look right there and tell if you voted in the Democratic Primary.”

These are the types of marking the group is looking for. If they see voted twice, that would indicate the possibility of a crossover vote.

Hinds County Circuit Clerk Barbara Dunn checked in to make sure that they were doing everything according to the law. She gave them a copy of an email from the secretary of state's office that clarifies exactly what they can and cannot do.

By late afternoon Thursday, the Mississippi Tea Party president was ready to release preliminary findings.

“We have already found nearly 800 instances of June 3 voters in the Democratic Primary who illegally voted in the June 24 runoff election,” said Laura Overschelde.

Perry isn't buying the numbers. He says there's an explanation for more than 200 of what are being called irregularities.

“The poll workers marked the wrong column," Perry said. "We know there are errors that happened that day and the poll workers out there corrected it. And they’re just trying to make up numbers to make it look a lot better than it is.”

Still, the Tea Party is standing by McDaniel and wants to make sure whether or not he should challenge the race results.

McDaniel has called on the state GOP chairman to require circuit clerks statewide to comply with similar requests. Chairman Joe Nosef declined to comment Thursday.


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