In it, but not of it. TPM DC

McDaniel Campaign To GOP Chair: Order Clerks To Open Poll Books

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AP Photo / Timothy D. Easley

"I'm calling on the Mississippi GOP Chairman Joe Nosef to instruct circuit clerks to hand over the poll books for the June 3 Democratic primary election and the June 24 Republican primary runoff election to our agents promptly upon request," McDaniel said in a statement on Thursday. "Circuit clerks should be instructed to be as helpful as possible to our volunteers as they check the poll books."

The statement is the latest move by the McDaniel campaign in its search for voting irregularities in the June 24 runoff election. McDaniel, in his speech to supporters that night, said that there were a number of suspicious aspects about the election results and his campaign would look into it before he decided to concede in the race.

"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," McDaniel said in the new statement.

Nosef, when reached by TPM on Thursday, said he did not have a response to the McDaniel campaign's call. Asked if he even had the authority to order the circuit clerks to hand over the poll books Nosef said "no."

Likewise the Mississippi secretary of State's office said that poll books are kept by each county. To get them someone would need to submit a public records request to each county.

"Since elections in Mississippi are administered on the county level, poll books are kept by each respective county," Grace Craig, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R), said in an email to TPM. "Anyone wishing to submit a public records request for these poll books would need to submit a request to each individual county…"

On Wednesday, McDaniel floated a legal theory about the election outcome to radio host Mark Levin. "And we know good and well that these 35,000 democrats have no intention to do that. They’ll be voting for [Democratic nominee] Travis Childers in November. We know that. They know that. And so that makes their actions illegal."

About The Author

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Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.