Last week the Internet poked fun at state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s challenge to the election results of the U.S. Senate race due to one piece of evidence included in the amended filings: His campaign lawyer’s name was listed as an irregular vote. Political enthusiasts on both sides speculated about why his name was listed, but McDaniel lawyer Mitch Tyner has confirmed that he voted, or at least tried to vote, for the Tea Party candidate. “His banner’s on my building; of course, I voted for Chris McDaniel,” Tyner said. Comedic blogs used the seemingly hypocritical element of the challenge to mock the McDaniel campaign, but right-wing blogger Charles C. Johnson claims the addition was unfiltered data. On Wednesday he tweeted: “The entire Madison precinct is in question, and McDaniel volunteers reported the data without filtering it so it can be properly examined in the appropriate venue.” But Tyner told the Jackson Free Press that he was listed as an irregular vote because he was listed as voting twice. He said he knew his name was on the list all along.
“It would be dishonest of me to remove something that the field folks found as an irregularity,” Tyner said. Tyner acknowledges that many people have been confused about how the numbers of irregular votes—for both McDaniel and his opponent Thad Cochran—factor into McDaniel’s challenge. He said the law does not require all the irregular votes that are counted to be for Cochran.
“That’s not what the law is geared to determine,” Tyner said. That he is listed as an irregular vote does not discredit his claims of a compromised election, he says, but is actually “just another example of no uniformity starting from the top down on trying to have an election with integrity.”
The challenge only must prove that the number of problematic votes, no matter for which candidate, exceed the margin of victory. When this happens, Tyner said, “the will of the people cannot be discerned from the vote.”