U.S. Senate challenger Chris McDaniel is taking his quest to view original voting records to the Mississippi Supreme Court. McDaniel asked Monday for an emergency order forcing Harrison County Circuit Clerk Gayle Parker to let him see original copies of poll books. He’s trying to prove people who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary illegally voted in the June 24 Republican runoff won by incumbent U.S. Sen Thad Cochran. Cochran finished with a 7,667-vote margin of victory, according to official results. McDaniel ultimately is trying to persuade a court to order a new runoff, arguing his loss was tainted by illegality. His lawyers say they have a right to the full original records, including birthdates.
“The candidate has a statutory role, just like the poll workers, just like the executive committee,” said state Sen. Michael Watson, R-Pascagoula, a McDaniel supporter and one of his lawyers.
Watson cited an example where a father, son and grandson with the same name lived at the same address in one county as proof that they need the birthdates.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and some circuit clerks cite a different portion of state election law that bans release of birthdates, and said McDaniel must accept access to the books with that information redacted. Parker said Monday that she had followed advice from Attorney General Jim Hood and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.