Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) said Friday that his campaign and his supporters have found “over 8,300 questionable ballots cast” in the runoff election for U.S. Senate, which Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) won.
“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.”
The statement is the latest claim by the McDaniel campaign about the evidence it has been hoping to find over the runoff election. Since the runoff, McDaniel and his supporters have accused Cochran, who McDaniel challenged, of foul play and also claimed the runoff was rife with voter fraud. Cochran reached out to African Americans and Democrats to win the runoff.
Earlier in the week McDaniel’s lawyer said the campaign had found proof that “several thousand” ineligible voters cast their ballot in the runoff. Cochran won the runoff by 7,667 votes. McDaniel’s campaign is hoping to prove that Cochran was only declared the winner through counting faulty votes and there should be a new election.
McDaniel, in the Friday statement, also called on the Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) to allow McDaniel’s campaign access to voting records which McDaniel said they have not had access to yet.
“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 Hosemann’s office has tried to prevent McDaniel supporters from getting access to voting records by giving circuit clerks inaccurate information about who can access voting records.
“It appears the message Delbert Hosemann’s office sent to Circuit Clerks was intended to confuse the Clerks so as to prevent full and unfettered access and disclosure of the poll books to our volunteers,” McDaniel said. “Secretary of State Hosemann should clarify the policy for the Clerks so my campaign’s designees can be granted access to election records.”
McDaniel concluded his announcement saying that on July 16 he would hold a press conference to discuss the findings of his investigation.