HOUSTON – The ballot boxes from the June 24 Republican Primary Runoff were opened for review by Chris McDaniel representatives last week but the election has already been canvassed and approved by the Chickasaw County Republican Party.
Assistant Chancery Clerk Cassandra Pulliam said representatives of U.S. Senatorial candidate Chris McDaniel looked over ballots, poll books and affidavit ballots July 7 and 8 but did not say what they found.
“They looked at what we had and took their own notes,” said Pulliam. “I don’t know what they feel they might have found or what they might do.”
Jud Ward and Pam Cox presented Pulliam with papers saying they were credentialed representatives of the McDaniel Campaign and were allowed to review the documents from the June 24 GOP runoff.
Pulliam, who was required by law to be in the room during the examination, said the county was glad to accommodate the McDaniel Campaign.
“I felt things went smoothly during the election,” said Pulliam. “I do want to point out primary elections are run by their respective parties and the county just helps them with machines and keeps the records.”
Incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran claimed Chickasaw County as one of his Republican run-off election victories taking 52 percent of the vote June 24.
The actual margins saw GOP challenger Chris McDaniel garner 771 votes or 47.42 percent to Cochran’s 854. There were 1,633 ballots cast in Chickasaw County or roughly 13.9 percent of the 11,719 eligible voters.
In the June 3 primary election, Cochran garnered 54 percent or 685 votes to McDaniel’s 567 votes or 44.8 percent.
The winner of the Republican Runoff will now face Democratic Senatorial candidate Travis Childers who easily won his state primary with 74.1 percent of the vote June 3. Childers took 87.97 percent of the vote in Chickasaw County.
McDaniel, still refusing to give up his challenge to incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, said last week his campaign representatives had found 8,300 questionable ballots across the state from the June 24 Republican primary runoff.
McDaniel has said before he intends to file a legal challenge to the June 24 election where Cochran defeated him by 194,932 votes to 187,265 votes.
The Cochran campaign contends only a few irregularities have been found.
The McDaniel campaign and supporters have alleged instances of fraud, vote-buying and of people who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary ineligibly voting in the Republican runoff.
McDaniel also continues to accuse some circuit clerks of making the review of the election data difficult for his supporters.
A Texas group, True the Vote, has filed a federal lawsuit against the state Republican Party, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and others claiming access to the election data is being blocked. Various state and local officials dispute those claims.
Joe Nosef, state Republican Party chair, accused True the Vote of filing a “frivolous” lawsuit and promised to seek sanctions against the Texas-based group.