An attorney for the Mississippi Republican party made a very clear argument: Mississippi law does not prohibit crossover voting.
The comments come as the Mississippi Republican Party faces a lawsuit by the conservative anti-voter fraud organization True the Vote over allowing access to poll records of the Republican runoff election between Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel — which Cochran won with the help of Democratic voters. Since then McDaniel and his allies have argued that Cochran (pictured) only won through illegal crossover votes from Democrats.
“You heard me right,” Mississippi Republican Party attorney Michael Wallace said according to the Clarion Ledger. “There is an attorney general’s opinion on the subject, but that is all. The attorney general may be right. I wasn’t telling the judge that the attorney general wasn’t right. I was telling her that the issue has never gone to court … The attorney general may be 100 percent right, but the issue has not been tested in court that I know of. It may have came up in a county court somewhere that hasn’t made it to reported cases. But to the best of my knowledge, it hasn’t been tested. All we have is an attorney general interpretation.”
The Mississippi Secretary of State has said crossover voting is illegal. He has based that advisement on a 1988 opinion by the Mississippi attorney general that said there is “a statutory prohibition on crossover voting,” according to the Clarion Ledger.
That opinion, which was issued to a Natchez, Mississippi city attorney, said “crossover voting may be defined as participation in the first primary of one political party and participation in the runoff primary of another party. Several attorney general’s opinions and case law has defined the first and second primary as one election process. The runoff primary has been described as a continuation of the first primary.”