The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday rejected state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s (R) petition filed against the Harrison County clerk in order to gain access to all election records from the U.S. Senate primary runoff.
McDaniel demanded “access to and full examination of all the original election materials,” including poll books.
The Mississippi Attorney General and Harrison County Circuit Clerk Gayle Parker argued that a candidate’s right to review election records does not include poll books.
Judge Josiah Coleman wrote in the court’s opinion that the clerk did not need to include poll books in election boxes for candidate review.
The McDaniel campaign claims that Sen. Thad Cochran (R) won the runoff election with votes from African-Americans and Democrats. They have been reviewing election records looking for “irregularities” indicating that Democrats illegally voted in two primaries.
“Today’s decision was not made by the entire Supreme Court, so our legal team will request that the entire Supreme Court panel rehear our petition for the original election records to be released to the McDaniel campaign,” Chris McDaniel’s lead attorney Mitch Tyner said in a statement. “In addition to asking for our case to be heard by the entire Court, we will also ask for the opportunity to present oral arguments. The integrity of every future statewide and district wide election hinges on this decision.”
McDaniel himself also released a statement: “A candidate for office in Mississippi should not have to raise $100,000 to verify an election was carried out legally in every single one of Mississippi’s eighty-two counties. We are confident the full panel of Justices will do the right thing, and we remain undeterred in our efforts to gain access to the election records in the counties where we have not been granted access to records thus far.”
Read the court order:
[H/t Jackson Jambalaya]
This post has been updated.