Mississippi: Could federal case succeed where McDaniel failing? | Clarion-Ledger

Special Judge Hollis McGehee delivered what could be the final blow to Chris McDaniel’s election challenge in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. McGehee sided with Thad Cochran in dismissing the court challenge, saying McDaniel missed a 20-day deadline to file his challenge with the Mississippi Republican Party. McDaniel has the option to appeal McGehee’s ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court, a decision McDaniel is expected to announce Tuesday. If McDaniel appeals, we are left with two scenarios:

1. The state’s high court could overturn McGehee’s ruling, in which case the challenge would be returned to the circuit clerk and move forward.
2. Justices could uphold McGehee’s ruling, and that would be the end of this long ordeal.

It is seemingly illogical that McDaniel would choose to throw the towel in at this stage. To not appeal would be conceding defeat, something he has absolutely refused to do to this point. It would be ending the fight for what he has deemed “the integrity of Mississippi’s electoral system” when there are still one more avenue to explore.

Mississippi: Judge dismisses Chris McDaniel challenge | CNN

A Mississippi judge has tossed out state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s challenge to that state’s June 24 GOP primary runoff results, ending another chapter in one of the most bitterly contested U.S. Senate primaries in recent memory and bringing longtime Sen. Thad Cochran one step closer to another term in Washington. Special Judge Hollis McGehee ruled that McDaniel waited too long to file his challenge with state Republican Party. McDaniel filed the challenge 41 days after the election; McGehee said that under state law the challenge had to be filed within 20 days.

Hawaii: State Supreme Court Dismisses ACLU Election Challenge | Honolulu Civil Beat

The Hawaii Supreme Court sided with the state today and dismissed an election challenge launched by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Big Island voters who were unable to cast ballots on Aug. 9 due to Tropical Storm Iselle. According to the Thursday ruling, the high court said it did not have jurisdiction over the constitutional questions raised by the ACLU. The dismissal also noted that the ACLU’s lawsuit, filed Aug. 21, was admittedly ““not a typical ‘election contest.’”

Mississippi: Judge mulls request to toss out election challenge | WAPT

Mississippi judge said he will carefully consider whether to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to overturn a Republican primary victory by Sen. Thad Cochran. Attorneys for challenger Chris McDaniel want all of the election records from 47-counties shipped to Jones County by Friday. Judge Hollis McGehee heard arguments for more than an hour Thursday at the Jones County Courthouse. He said he could rule on dismissal as soon as Friday. Attorneys for state Sen. Chris McDaniel said current state law does not set a timetable for a candidate such as McDaniel to challenge an election loss. However, attorneys for Cochran said the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in 1959 that a challenge for a multicounty election should be filed no later than 20 days after election results are certified. Election results were certified July 7 and McDaniel started his challenge nearly a month later with the state Republican Party.

Mississippi: Will McDaniel give up? | Clarion-Ledger

Chris McDaniel is taking the long holiday weekend to mull whether he’ll accept defeat from the June 24 GOP U.S. Senate primary, or continue his appeal to the state’s high court. “He wasn’t really ready to even accept (dismissal) was a possibility,” McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner said Friday after a special circuit court dismissed his lawsuit challenging his primary runoff loss. “… This is a very costly litigation and so he wants to take the weekend to decide.” Attorneys for incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran said it’s time for McDaniel, a state senator from Ellisville, to give up. “This has been an ordeal for Sen. Cochran, for his staff, for the circuit clerks, for all the people whose votes have been challenged,” said Cochran attorney Mark Garriga. “… We hope this is the end. Not the beginning of the end, but the end. We urge Sen. McDaniel and his counsel to make that so.” A campaign spokesman said McDaniel will announce his decision at a press conference Tuesday. Judge Hollis McGehee on Friday approved Cochran’s motion to dismiss McDaniel’s lawsuit.

Mississippi: Despite election challenge, Mississippi ballot set with Thad Cochran as Senate nominee | Associated Press

Mississippi elections commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a November ballot that lists Republican Thad Cochran, Democrat Travis Childers and the Reform Party’s Shawn O’Hara as nominees for U.S. Senate. Approval of the ballot came, as expected, while Chris McDaniel’s challenge of his Republican primary loss to Cochran is still awaiting trial. The judge overseeing McDaniel’s challenge said last week that he would not block preparations for the general election, including the setting of the ballot. State law says the ballot must be given to counties by Sept. 10, which is 55 days before the Nov. 4 general election. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Mississippi must make absentee ballots available to overseas military voters starting Sept. 20. “Unless we’re ordered to the contrary, we’re going to follow the process,” Hosemann said after Tuesday’s meeting.

Mississippi: McDaniel says he didn’t wait too late to file lawsuit | Clarion-Ledger

Chris McDaniel’s legal team has filed its response to Thad Cochran’s motion to dismiss McDaniel’s lawsuit to overturn his GOP runoff loss to Cochran. Cochran lawyers last week filed a motion to dismiss McDaniel’s lawsuit, saying it was filed too late. They say a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling requires a candidate contesting a statewide primary file its complaint with the state Republican Party within 20 days of the election. McDaniel filed his challenge of the June 24th primary on Aug. 4. McDaniel’s team in its motion filed today argues that there is no deadline to file a challenge in a statewide primary, and that the 1959 decision applied to old election laws, which have since been updated.

Mississippi: Did McDaniel wait too late to file? | Clarion Ledger

Chris McDaniel’s first hurdle in his lawsuit to overturn his loss to Thad Cochran is a doozy: He may have waited too late to file it. As he worked for weeks building a case and campaigning that the election was stolen from him, McDaniel’s team said a 20-day deadline applies only to challenges of county and local elections, not a statewide U.S. Senate primary. Others, including the secretary of state, agreed with him. “Justice has no timetable,” McDaniel said numerous times when questioned why it was taking so long to file his challenge of the June 24 GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. But a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling appears also to apply the 20-day deadline to “state, congressional and judicial district” primaries. Citing this ruling, Cochran’s legal team has filed a motion to dismiss McDaniel’s lawsuit. McDaniel has until Tuesday to file a response, and a hearing on the motion is set for Thursday.

Mississippi: Thad Cochran’s attorneys want election challenge dismissed, arguing suit filed too late | gulflive.com

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s attorneys say a lawsuit that seeks to overturn his Republican primary victory should be dismissed because it was filed too late. They also argue Cochran should not have been sued because he didn’t conduct the election. Cochran defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the June 24 runoff, and the state GOP certified the results July 7. In court papers filed Thursday, Cochran’s attorneys cited a 1959 Mississippi Supreme Court decision that a challenge to a statewide election must be filed within 20 days of when results are certified. They said that means McDaniel had a July 27 deadline. McDaniel filed suit Aug. 14 in his home of Jones County, asking a judge to either declare him the winner of the June 24 runoff or order a new election.

Mississippi: Judge doubts McDaniel election challenge can be decided by Nov. 4 | USA Today

The judge in Chris McDaniel’s lawsuit challenging his Republican primary loss to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran expressed doubts Wednesday that a trial can be finished before the Nov. 4 general election. Special Judge Hollis McGehee told lawyers for McDaniel and Cochran he feels compelled to quickly hold trial on McDaniel’s challenge of his June 24 GOP Senate runoff to Cochran, but the case is complicated and unprecedented. McGehee said Tuesday he’ll set a trial schedule by the end of the week. He said trial will likely begin Sept. 15 or Sept. 22. McGehee scheduled an Aug. 28 hearing on motions Cochran’s lawyers plan to file to have the case dismissed.

Hawaii: Hanabusa says she will not file election challenge | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said Tuesday that she would not legally challenge her Democratic primary loss to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. The congreswoman lost to Schatz by 1,769 votes. The outcome was delayed for nearly a week after the state Office of Elections allowed voters in two Puna precincts on Hawaii island struggling to recover from Tropical Storm Iselle to cast ballots in a makeup vote. The state also found about 800 previously uncounted absentee ballots on Maui. “A big mahalo to our volunteers and supporters for your hard work, sacrifice and most importantly, for your trust,” Hanabusa said in a statement. “We would not have gotten as close as we did without the love and Aloha you poured into our campaign. I will forever be humbled and inspired by your support.”

Mississippi: Trial for McDaniel’s election challenge likely next month | WAPT

A judge presiding over a lawsuit that challenges Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s victory in a Republican primary runoff said his intention is to have the case settled in time for the November general election. A hearing was held Wednesday before Special Judge Hollis McGehee, who was appointed to hear the lawsuit filed by Chris McDaniel. McGehee said it was a unique case because there has never been a statewide election challenge. McDaniel claims he lost to incumbent Thad Cochran because of thousands of fraudulent votes and voter irregularities. McDaniel wants to be declared the winner of the Republican primary runoff or have a new election. Certified results of the June 24 runoff show that Cochran, a six-term incumbent, defeated the tea party-backed McDaniel by 7,667 votes.

Indonesia: Indonesia’s highest court to decide on election challenge | Reuters

Indonesia’s highest court is widely expected on Thursday to uphold last month’s hotly contested presidential election, paving the way for Joko Widodo to take over as leader of the world’s third largest democracy. Losing candidate Prabowo Subianto has asked the Constitutional Court to overturn the election result, saying the vote was tainted by mass fraud. The verdict, expected at around 2 p.m. (0300 EST), cannot be appealed. The case is widely seen as a face-saving gesture and has been a common course of action in previous elections. The court has never overturned the result of a presidential election.

Mississippi: Retired judge to hear McDaniel’s challenge of primary loss to Cochran | Mississippi Business Journal

A retired chancery judge who is now a Methodist minister will oversee a lawsuit that challenges Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s victory in a Republican primary runoff. The chief justice of the state Supreme Court appointed retired Chancellor Hollis McGehee of Lucedale to handle the case that state Sen. Chris McDaniel filed Thursday. McDaniel demands that a judge declare him the winner or order a new runoff between him and Cochran. Certified results of the June 24 runoff show that Cochran, a six-term incumbent and former Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, defeated the tea party-backed McDaniel by 7,667 votes. It would be unprecedented for a court to order a do-over of a statewide election, and part of McDaniel’s argument hinges on an unenforceable law. His lawsuit said Mississippi GOP officials violated the rights of real Republicans by allowing people to vote who didn’t intend to support the party’s nominee.

Texas: Hidalgo council candidates drop election contest | Brownsville Herald

An election contest from losing candidates of the Hidalgo City Council election will end quietly after investigators found no evidence of abuse in county voting machines, a plaintiff said this week. The contest, from former mayoral candidate Guillermo Ramirez and council contenders Guillermo Cienfuegos Jr. and Mario Degollado, centered around the same argument as contests filed in the Hidalgo County Democratic primaries — that someone had tampered with voting machines.

Mississippi: McDaniel filing challenge in Jones County today | Clarion-Ledger

A spokesman says Chris McDaniel will file his legal challenge of the June 24 GOP primary he lost to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran today in Jones County Circuit Court. Today is the deadline to file. McDaniel on Tuesday said his legal team has told him he has a “rock-solid” case to overturn the primary. His case includes affidavits from many volunteers listing what they claim are thousands of illegal or irregular votes. But Cochran lawyers and some election officials dispute these claims. They say McDaniel volunteers have found irregularities where none exist and that the election, which Cochran won by 7,667 votes, was fair and had no more problems than the human error involved in all elections. McDaniel’s first step was to file his challenge with the state Republican Party. But the party refused to hear the challenge, saying it’s too big a case for it to sort and that it should go straight to the courts.

Mississippi: Republican Party will not hear McDaniel challenge | Clarion-Ledger

The Mississippi Republican Party has said they will not hear the challenge from Chris McDaniel because state law would not allow them sufficient time to consider the evidence. In a letter to McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner, Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef said the candidate should move their challenge to the courts. Nosef, who is in Chicago for the Republican National Committee meeting, cited a law amended in 2012 that requires “a petition for judicial review must be filed within ten (10) days after any contest or complaint has been filed with an executive committee.” The 10-day deadline from Monday’s challenge would be Thursday, Aug. 14.

Mississippi: State Supreme Court denies Chris McDaniel request to revisit ruling on poll books access | Associated Press

The Mississippi Supreme Court said Thursday that it won’t reconsider its ruling that voters’ birthdates must be redacted before poll books are opened for public inspection. State Sen. Chris McDaniel had asked the nine justices to hold a hearing and reconsider the ruling they issued last week. On Thursday, the court said no. Two justices did not participate in the ruling and three said they would have granted a hearing. McDaniel wants to see full information in poll books, including birthdates, as he prepares to challenge his 7,667-vote loss to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the June 24 Republican primary runoff. McDaniel campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch said Wednesday that the campaign was still gathering evidence of potential wrongdoing to prepare to file an election challenge. During a July 16 news conference, McDaniel attorneys said a challenge could be filed within the following 10 days.

Mississippi: Coming Soon: The FEC Complaint (and Election Challenge) in Mississippi | Slate

Yesterday afternoon, journalist Charles C. Johnson — who’s based in California — announced a surprise press conference to be held at the National Media Center. The looming, anonymous building housed a group that had been paid by for work the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and that had purchased ads in Mississippi that warned black voters of the danger if they let Thad Cochran lose his primary. Johnson, joined by New Jersey political operative Rick Shaftan, was there to lay out the possible, illegal ramifications of this. “It is an incontrovertible fact that one of this firm’s top officials, John Ferrell, signed forms for race-baiting ads all over Mississippi,” said Johnson, reading his statement as a local Tea Party leader hoisted a Gadsden flag. “Rick Shaftan and I did the work nobody in the media bothered to do and obtained the order forms direct from radio stations in Mississippi.” Ferrell had not commented, and the media write large had not followed up the story. Indeed, I was one of just four reporters who decided to stop by the presser. Johnson deferred to Shaftan on the details of the case. “There is no proof that his theory is true,” he said, “but there is no proof that it is not true.”

Texas: Judge orders new election in Weslaco’s District 5 | The Monitor

A judge ordered Weslaco to call a new District 5 City Commission election “as soon as possible” Thursday after weeks of considering arguments in an election challenge there. “This is a victory,” candidate Letty Lopez said after the decision. “The judge called it the best that he could, getting the facts on each voter.” Lopez sued Commissioner Lupe Rivera after she lost the seat by only 16 votes in November. She alleged widespread voter fraud in the contest and challenged some 44 votes.

New Hampshire: House mulls changes to voter challenges | Eagle Tribune

A bill before the New Hampshire House shifts the burden of proof in voter disputes to the challenger. The Election Law Committee, on a 16-0 vote, is recommending passage for Senate Bill 206, scheduled before the House on Wednesday. “SB 206 amends current law by shifting the burden of proof to the challenger by requiring that the specific reason and source of the information for the challenge be provided, and that it be provided in writing,” Rep. Robert Perry, D-Strafford, in a written report on behalf of the committee, told the House.

Thailand: Long legal battle to follow Thai polls, with damaging effect | The Jakarta Post

The February 2 election is set to trigger a lengthy legal battle between the two rival political camps, which are ignoring the negative consequences of the country being dragged into a power vacuum. It is quite certain that the February 2 election will be held, with the likely consequence being that voting cannot be carried out in many constituencies and provinces. No one knows when the voting in these provinces will be able to take place, or how many rounds of advance voting and absentee voting will be carried out, given that anti-government protesters are determined to block the elections. The possibility of completing the whole process of the February 2 poll is thus inevitably thrown into doubt. This may not be surprising; some political parties have rejected it from the very start. Legal specialists such as former Senate speaker Meechai Ruchuphan and People’s Democratic Reform Committee leader Suthep Thaugsuban believe that the solution is to nullify the election – with the April 2, 2006 election serving as an example.

Zimbabwe: Court to rule on election challenge | Associated Press

Zimbabwe’s highest court said it will rule Tuesday on a legal battle over disputed elections that gave President Robert Mugabe a landslide victory, even though the opposition dropped its challenge in protest to the state’s refusal to hand over polling data. Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court on Monday heard demands by Mugabe’s attorneys for a hearing to go ahead despite the opposition’s withdrawal, apparently reflecting the president’s confidence that the court will throw out the case and strengthen his assertions that the vote was legitimate. Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, appoints the nation’s judges and they have frequently ruled in his favor in the past decade of political and economic turmoil. Terrence Hussein, an attorney for Mugabe, said a challenge to the presidential vote cannot be withdrawn under the constitution. The party of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai fears participation in the legal process would now give a stamp of credibility to the election.

Zimbabwe: Court to rule on election challenge even after opposition drops its case | Associated Press

Zimbabwe’s highest court said it will rule Tuesday on a legal battle over disputed elections that gave President Robert Mugabe a landslide victory, even though the opposition dropped its challenge in protest to the state’s refusal to hand over polling data. Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court on Monday heard demands by Mugabe’s attorneys for a hearing to go ahead despite the opposition’s withdrawal, apparently reflecting the president’s confidence that the court will throw out the case and strengthen his assertions that the vote was legitimate. Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, appoints the nation’s judges and they have frequently ruled in his favor in the past decade of political and economic turmoil. Terrence Hussein, an attorney for Mugabe, said a challenge to the presidential vote cannot be withdrawn under the constitution.

Zimbabwe: Court Takes Up Mugabe Re-election Challenge | VoA NEws

Zimbabwe’s Electoral Court has begun hearing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s challenge of the re-election of President Robert Mugabe in the July 31 polls. Mugabe’s swearing in has been put on hold and investors have been cautious since the re-election of the 89-year-old leader because of his policy of seizing foreign owned firms. Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change accuse the Zimbabwe Election Commission of rigging the election for Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.  On Wednesday, they were at the Electoral Court to force the commission to produce all election materials. Lewis Uriri, the lawyer for Tsvangirai, told reporters that the court reserved judgment. “Clearly time is of essence here,” he said. “We need access to those materials to demonstrate beyond doubt that the election was not properly conducted, to demonstrate the will of the people was not reflected in that election.  There must be a reason why they do not want to produce those materials.  That reason is that there are definitely, definitely, definitely, ghosts in those sealed materials that they do not want us access.”

Ghana: Supreme Court Considers Election Challenge | allAfrica.com

Ghana’s Supreme Court is asking for final written arguments by the end of July in an opposition case challenging the 2012 election of President John Mahama. The court will rule in August on the petition to overturn the election in what is considered one of Africa’s most stable democracies. Just weeks after the December 7 election of John Mahama, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) went to the Supreme Court complaining of election irregularities. Mahama won in the first round with 50.7 percent of the vote in an election certified as free and fair by the election commission and the international community. But the NPP alleges fraud based on data from polling stations, including over voting and voting by people not registered by the new biometric finger printing system.

Kuwait: Court rejects election challenge, confirms July 27 vote | Reuters

A Kuwaiti administrative court threw out on Sunday legal challenges to a parliamentary election set for July 27, a judicial source and an elections candidate said, effectively paving the way for the vote to proceed on time. Almost constant factional infighting over the past seven years has prompted repeated elections, stalled infrastructure development and held up economic reforms in Kuwait, an important Gulf Arab oil producer and U.S. ally. A legal source said the Kuwait Administrative Court ruled it had no jurisdiction to look into three legal challenges by Kuwaiti citizens to the vote. One case related to a request to incorporate a residential area into one of the five electoral districts, while another pertained to whether the government had lost its legitimacy and thus its eligibility to call for new elections after a court ordered the dissolution of the previous parliament.

Ghana: Ghana transfixed as court case throws elections into doubt | Reuters

Ghana’s Supreme Court must decide in the coming months whether or not to overturn December elections that handed the presidency to John Mahama, in a rare case of African judicial vigour that has transfixed the country. Proceedings in a packed courtroom, where opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo is challenging the outcome of the 2012 poll, are broadcast live on the radio and blare from cars and buses as the population of 25 million tunes in for the latest developments. Legal experts say the verdict, expected some time between late June and August, is too close to call, and several believe there is a genuine chance the court could invalidate the victory of Mahama’s ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Kenya: Prime Minister Filing Election Challenge Saturday | VoA News

The runner-up in Kenya’s presidential election is filing a petition with the Supreme Court Saturday challenging the results.  The party of Prime Minister Raila Odinga says it will present to the court evidence of electoral fraud. Odinga’s CORD alliance has refused to accept the first-round victory of Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta. Results released last week by the country’s electoral commission, the IEBC, declared Mr. Kenyatta had won 50.07 percent of the vote, just enough to avoid a run-off with Mr. Odinga. The vote counting was delayed by a breakdown in an electronic transmission system. CORD has raised concerns about other alleged irregularities, including mismatched numbers coming from polling stations and cases where the number of votes cast in some areas exceeded the number of registered voters.