Politics
A combination photo shows Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel (L) attending a rally in Madison, Mississippi and Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran campaigning in Pass Christian, Mississippi June 19, 2014.REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/Lee Celano/files  A combination photo shows Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel (L) attending a rally in Madison, Mississippi and Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran campaigning in Pass Christian, Mississippi June 19, 2014.REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/Lee Celano/files   

McDaniel Team: Getting Close To Runoff Replay Number

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Volunteers for Chris McDaniel say they’ve found 4,900 voting irregularities in Mississippi, which is 69 percent of the 7,113 invalid votes they need to trigger a rerun of the June 24 runoff that gave the GOP nomination to Sen. Thad Cochran.

But that 4,900 figure is padded by including votes marred by clerical errors, along with clear cases of invalid duplicate votes by people who voted in the Democratic primary on June 3, and then improperly crossed over to vote in the GOP runoff on June 24.

“Volunteers have examined election records in 51 of Mississippi’s 82 counties, and have documented more than 4,900 voting irregularities, the vast majority of which are ineligible crossover votes,” Noel Fritsch told The Daily Caller.

Fritsch also said the volunteers expect to find more invalid votes among the 19,000 absentee votes.

If they can show a judge that they’ve identified at least 7,113 invalid votes, Cochran’s June 24 victory will be cancelled, and a second runoff will be scheduled.

But Cochran’s supporters dismissed the informal vote-count.

“We don’t think there is any way possible that there was anything close to 7,113 ineligible voters,” said consultant Henry Barbour.

“We believe the number of ineligible voters is in the hundreds… the McDaniel campaign is including clerical errors by poll workers on 6/24 that were clearly not ineligible voters,” Barbour told The Daily Caller.

McDaniel’s number is wildly inflated, said Cochran campaign aide Jordan Russell.

According to Russell, Cochran’s investigation found only a handful of invalid votes in districts where McDaniel’s volunteers claimed to find hundreds of invalid votes.

The election will likely be certified on Monday, and McDaniel’s team can then prove their case to judge, Russell said.

Claims of vote-buying are also wrong, Russell said. They followed normal practices and paid people to get out the vote, but there’s no data showing surges of Democratic-leaning voters in districts on June 24, he said.

McDaniel’s supporters say there’s evidence of vote-buying in text messages.  But “if we were buying people’s votes, why would we ask for names and addresses? Why would a campaign want a paper trail for vote-buying?” Russell told TheDC.

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