Mississippi Supreme Court deals blow to Chris McDaniel


Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel (R). (Jonathan Bachman/REUTERS)

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday rejected state Sen. Chris McDaniel's request to review poll books containing voters' birth dates and other personal information, dealing a blow to his bid to gather evidence of voter fraud in the June 24 Republican runoff for U.S. Senate.

The court ruled that elections officials must redact voters' social security numbers, birth dates and other personal information. McDaniel wanted a complete examination of materials in order to determine whether voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary also cast them in the Republican runoff. Doing so would be in violation of the law.

McDaniel's campaign said it would request that the justices rehear its argument, since the entire court did not decide the case.

"In addition to asking for our case to be heard by the entire Court, we will also ask for the opportunity to present oral arguments. The integrity of every future statewide and district wide election hinges on this decision," McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner said in a statement.

Sen. Thad Cochran was certified by the Republican Party of Mississippi last week as the winner of the runoff by 7,667 votes.

Tyner said Wednesday the McDaniel campaign expects to challenge the outcome of the runoff "within the next 10 days," but is still reviewing evidence of potential voter fraud. He has yet to present specific evidence for the basis of such a challenge.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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