Cochran challenger building evidence towards legal action against Mississippi GOP runoff results
July 7th, 2014
04:20 PM ET
4 weeks ago

Cochran challenger building evidence towards legal action against Mississippi GOP runoff results

(CNN) - The campaign of the tea party-backed challenger who narrowly lost a Republican primary runoff in Mississippi to longtime Sen. Thad Cochran said it's building the evidence needed to legally contest those results.

"The evidence we have found so far, which will in part serve as the basis for a challenge, is promising," Noel Fritsch, spokesman for state Sen. Chris McDaniel, told CNN Monday. Fritsch spoke to CNN as attorneys for the campaign told reporters at a news conference at the Hinds County courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi that they will go through ballot boxes, including absentees, before taking legal action.

Earlier Monday Fritsch told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that they've found thousands of examples of voter irregularities, as well as invalid crossover votes from Democrats. The latest comments from the McDaniel campaign came just a couple of hours before the deadline for the state GOP to hand over to the Mississippi secretary of state's office the certified results from the runoff contest.

McDaniel narrowly edged Cochran in a June 3 primary, but with neither man cracking the 50% threshold needed to win, the contest moved to the runoff three weeks later, which Cochran won by fewer than 7,000 votes.

The Mississippi secretary of state's office announced Monday it accepted the certified election results from both state parties. The official results from the Republican Party showed Cochran with more than a 7,600 vote lead over McDaniel.

Cochran victory was apparently aided by votes from African-American Democrats, who were actively courted during the runoff by Cochran's campaign and allied groups. According to Mississippi law, voters are not required to register with a political party, and anyone who doesn't vote in a primary election can cast a ballot in either party's runoff.

After the runoff, McDaniel's campaign dispatched volunteers across Mississippi to investigate the results in the state's 82 counties. FreedomWorks, one of the anti-establishment groups that's been supporting McDaniel, dispatched activists to assist the campaign. Separately, a conservative outside group filed a lawsuit in federal court asking for full access to the voting records in the primary and runoff elections.

While Fritsch said there were thousands of voter irregularities, he could not provide an exact number. But he added that the irregularities they've they have found so far do not include any from absentee ballots – just votes that occurred in person in the runoff. After the runoff, McDaniel's campaign dispatched volunteers across Mississippi to investigate the results in the state's 82 counties.

McDaniel: 'Better we learn to stand and fight'

McDaniel said Friday on CNN's "New Day" that "the integrity of the process matters. We believe on that night of June 24 there were thousands of irregularities and we've already found thousands of irregularities in the process."

"Right now, we have found we have found more than 5,000 irregularities. There are more than 19,000 absentee ballots we still haven't seen yet," McDaniel added.

McDaniel also defended his campaign's offer – announced Thursday – of rewards of $1,000 each for individuals providing "evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in voter fraud."

The Cochran campaign has disputed McDaniel's claims, and numbers. The Cochran campaign said Monday afternoon that it has representatives at all 82 courthouses to monitor the review of the ballot boxes, and that its pleased so far with the results.

"The county-by-county results reported thus far are revealing an extremely low number of crossover votes from the June 24th election. As the process moves forward, the conversation is shifting from wild, baseless accusations to hard facts," Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell told CNN. "As we have said from the beginning, the run-off results are clear: the majority of Mississippians voted for Senator Thad Cochran."

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN's Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report


Filed under: 2014 • Chris McDaniel • Mississippi • Senate Primaries • Senate Race • Thad Cochran
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Cochran challenger to take legal action against Mississippi GOP runoff results"

    ...because black people.

    The end.

    July 7, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "His victory was apparently aided by votes from African-American Democrats"

    Really? And how did CNN determine this to be the case in a state that does not have any form of voter registration by party?

    July 7, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    ""Right now, we have found we have found more than 5,000 irregularities. "

    Teatroll Rosetta Stone says: "irregularities" = voters with names like "Lopez", "Tyrell" and "Houshmenzadeh."

    July 7, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. What evs

    Sniffit

    "People are the problemm NOTE Chicago and Detroit and Illinois in general- A democratic controlled state from top to bottom– strict gun laws, unions in control, debt that God himself could not pay back– What's not to like?

    You are statistically more likely to be shot or suffer some form of gun violence, injury or accident if you are anywhere in the state of Louisiana than you are in the city of Chicago. I cite Louisiana because it has the most lenient gun laws in the country...but the same goes for several of the other states with very lax gun laws. You and the MSM just like to focus on Chicago and other inner cities because it's more sensational and, well, because there's that little element of racism involved, which runs as subconsciously rampant in the MSM as it does the rest of the country
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Saw this headline just now and just had to post it- "83 shot- 14 fatally- in Chicago over holiday weekend"

    Yeah.. "We" just like to focus on Chicago for sensationalism.... M-Kay!

    July 7, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "McDaniel also defended his campaign's offer – announced Thursday – of rewards of $1,000 each for individuals providing "evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in voter fraud."

    Is he indeed? Well, I wish him luck with the "wistleblowers". Apparently he doesn't have the "goods" and is reaching into thin air.

    July 7, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. jboh

    Waaaaa! We lost, it must be fraud. Waaaaa! Now go drink more of that TEAaid.

    July 7, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Jebediah12

    Tea billy gonna rise again

    July 7, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. freedom

    Expose the corruption!

    July 7, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. just saying

    Noel Fritsch, spokesman for state Sen. Chris McDaniel, told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash Monday that they've found thousands of examples of voter irregularities, as well as invalid crossover votes from Democrats.
    ---

    demorcats doing what they always do... messing with elections. this time they got caught. now you know why they don't want voter id laws. honest elections are the last thing they want.

    July 7, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Longtimer

    Here's a hint Mr. McDaniel- go look up the Mississippi election laws regarding "Open Primary". Now realize that the law did exactly what it was supposed to do. Go home!

    July 7, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    I guess the Neo Confederates are upset because they forgot their own laws about open primaries. So much for not being the " Party of Stupid".

    July 7, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Saw this headline just now and just had to post it- "83 shot- 14 fatally- in Chicago over holiday weekend"

    Yeah.. "We" just like to focus on Chicago for sensationalism.... M-Kay!"
    ===

    You do. Nothing you said changes the statistics I cited. When you have a super high concentration of people in one place, larger numbers of incidents can still represent a lower incidence rate, i.e., a statistically lower likelihood of being shot, threatened with a gun, injured by "accident" etc. In other words, Chicago is still safer than LA as far as guns go. It's all about the denominator, champ...you do know what a denominator is, don't you?

    The MSM and folks like yourself like to focus on places like Chicago because bigger numbers all at once sound more sensational and provide a wonderful distraction and source of disinformation and misinformed perspective for people who don't quite grasp the simple concept I just explained. Explaining to people that places like LA are still more dangerous in terms of gun violence, accidents and injuries than Chicago doesn't sound as "seckseh" when you have to rely on smaller overall numbers and math to prove it. Much MUCH easier to just shout "ERHMAGERD....BIG NUMBER!!!!!!! LOOK OVER THERE...SQUIRRELS!!!!!"

    July 7, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    What evs? – 31,000 gun deaths in US. If 800 are from Chicago, where do the other 30,200 come from?

    July 7, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Chris McDaniel / Mitt Romney 2016

    I'm a Losser Baby !

    July 7, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    Yes, mcdaniel offered 1,000 dollar rewards for anyone bringing forward evidence of voter fraud.
    I got 3,000 dollars for giving him photos of black people voting.
    He called it irrefutable evidence of voter fraud, pointing out the people were black... and clearly voting...

    In Mississippi.

    It's your party and you can cry if you wanna'... cry if you wanna', cry if you wanna'...
    I would cry, too, if I were as ignorant as youuuuuu....

    July 7, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. rs

    Fascinating. So the Right was correct- by their own metric, there is voter fraud- and they know because they are committing it. Perhaps instead of restricting minority voting, we would get cleaner elections by limiting voting rights of the Right-as they seem to now be admitting their proclivity for such actions.

    July 7, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. CreamCheese

    What I don't get is why black people would vote for Thad, who pushed and voted to get rid of voter rights acts. The irony is the people who helped get him elected are the same people he tried (with success) to suppress their right to vote. But people here are stupid – so there ya go.

    I was in line at a gas station prior to the Obama/McCain election and overheard someone say:
    I guess all those college professor types are going to vote for Obama...

    Meaning that all you stupid people will vote for McCain..?? LOL ??

    July 7, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    just saying

    Noel Fritsch, spokesman for state Sen. Chris McDaniel, told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash Monday that they've found thousands of examples of voter irregularities, as well as invalid crossover votes from Democrats.
    -

    demorcats doing what they always do... messing with elections. this time they got caught. now you know why they don't want voter id laws. honest elections are the last thing they want.

    Oh look... now just saying has that same distinct spelling error of the word Democrat as does donna and just asking.
    Tsk... tsk.... all these righties on here are actually just one disgruntled mentally challenged welfare recipient living in a trailer park in some red state... no doubt drunk and hopped up on prescription (someone else's) meds wating for their gubmint check... they just don't think anyone else should get one.

    July 7, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. just saying

    Tampa Tim
    What evs? – 31,000 gun deaths in US. If 800 are from Chicago, where do the other 30,200 come from?
    -–

    lmost likely of the other large urban crime infested hell holes where they have rendered the law abiding citizens defenseless.

    July 7, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |