Miss. Supreme Court Rejects McDaniel Petition To Review Poll Books

Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, foreground, explains the rationale for establishing the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition, a group dedicated to the advancement of conservative ideas and legislation during ... Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, foreground, explains the rationale for establishing the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition, a group dedicated to the advancement of conservative ideas and legislation during a news conference at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Although the organization is all Republican, McDaniel says they are open to members of other parties. Sen. Michael Watson, R-Pascagoula, in the background, is one of the 11 founding members. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) MORE LESS
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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.

The campaign has yet to file a formal challenge to the election results, but has filed lawsuits demanding access to poll records.

“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:

Mississippi Supreme Court Order On McDaniel Petition

[H/t Jackson Jambalaya]

This post has been updated.

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