Conservatives backing Mississippi tea partier Chris McDaniel have filed a lawsuit against the Republican Party of Mississippi and the Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann claiming that voters who supported Sen. Thad Cochran in his come-from-behind runoff victory last week broke the law by also voting in the Democratic primary. McDaniel, a state senator who eked out a victory over Cochran in the June 3 Republican primary, has refused to concede after losing the June 24 runoff by a 6,700-vote margin. He alleges that Cochran’s successful effort to expand his voter base to include Democrats resulted in “thousands or irregularities in the voting process.” The lawsuit, filed by the conservative group True the Vote, names 13 voters who it says “double-voted” — cast ballots in Mississippi’s Democratic primary and then in the Republican runoff.
Mississippi state law allows voters of one party to participate in a runoff of another, so long as “he intends to support the nominations made in which he participates.” In practice, that usually means someone who voted in a Democratic primary could not then turn around and vote in the Republican runoff, but it is very difficult to prove that a voter did not intend to follow through and vote for the Republican in a general election.
“Having noted irregularities in the voter polls, the individual plaintiffs now suspect that their lawful votes in the Republican primary runoff have been impermissibly diluted by unlawful ballots cast in violation of the prohibition on ‘double-voting,'” the lawsuit says.