GOP Candidate for Senate Chris McDaniel Claims 3,300 Votes “Ineligible,” Provides No Evidence
There was little doubt that sitting Senator from Mississippi Thad Cochran’s plan to engage Democratic voters in the Republican primary runoff election would rankle his challenger state Senator Chris McDaniel. However, McDaniel has vowed to fight the results of the election, which he lost, in court.
According to Breitbart.com, McDaniel’s campaign “has at least 3,300 ineligible votes counted, after examining fewer than half of Mississippi’s counties,” although this number was not “independently verified” by Breitbart News. A group called True the Vote has filed a lawsuit against the state Republican party chairman and the Mississippi Secretary of State for “not cooperating” with verification efforts.
The Associated Press reports, the state’s new voter ID law, ironically, has delayed the ability of the Mississippi Republican party to certify the election results. This coupled with the McDaniel campaign presenting no actual evidence of voter misconduct makes any real challenge to the results of this election unlikely.
The Washington Post also reports on a bizarre accusation that began on blogs that the Cochran campaign actually “bought votes” by handing out envelopes stuffed with $15 in cash. An interview with Reverend Stevie Fielder, supposedly reveals text messages from Cochrain campaign staffer Saleem Baird offering to pay for votes.
FreedomWorks for America, a tea party group that invested heavily in McDaniel’s campaign, demanded an investigation, but the campaign said that Fielder was a paid member of the campaign to “get out the vote.” Rather than being given $10,000 to $15,000, as Fielder alleged, the Cochran campaign said he was paid only $600.
So the onus is on the McDaniel camp to produce some credible evidence to back up their claims. If they do, there is no clear precedent on how to proceed. As Slate put it, “There’s no Plan C.” Of course, to the rest of the country the matter of this election has been settled, but that does little to alleviate the sting for McDaniel and his supporters who feel they were robbed.