Mississippi Supreme Court Rejects McDaniel’s Request for Access to Election Records
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The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request by state Sen. Chris McDaniel to grant him unfettered access to un-redacted election records from the June 24 GOP primary runoff against Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).
McDaniel’s team had asked the court to issue a blanket ruling ordering courthouses throughout the state of Mississippi to grant him or his designees access to un-redacted poll books and other information at no cost. McDaniel’s legal team says that, while they have enough evidence—which they are not sharing with the public at this time—for a challenge of the election results, they want to fully examine all of the records in each of Mississippi’s 82 counties before doing so, because they can’t add new evidence into the case after the challenge is filed.
More specifically, what McDaniel was asking the court was to clarify whether poll books apply to election materials as contained under Mississippi law. There is a specific Mississippi code, section 23-15-911, that allows a candidate or his designee to review the contents of ballot boxes after an election. McDaniel wanted the court to rule that the statute applies to poll books—which contain the names and other information about who voted on election day, as recorded by poll workers at the various some-1,200 precincts statewide.