McDaniel Calls on Secretary of State to Direct Clerks to Provide Access to Election Records, Announces July 16 Press Conference
Republican Chris McDaniel today called on Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann to clarify the rules for Circuit Clerks regarding access to election records and announced a Wednesday morning press conference to discuss the election records his team has examined thus far.
“For the last two weeks, more than two hundred volunteers for from all over Mississippi have worked tirelessly in an effort to gain access to election records in order to ensure the integrity of the primary process in Mississippi,” McDaniel said. “We have found over 8,300 questionable ballots cast, many of which were unquestionably cast by voters ineligible to participate in the June 24th runoff election.”
“In the large majority of Mississippi’s counties, our volunteers have been greeted warmly by conscientious Circuit Clerks who take their jobs very seriously,” McDaniel continued.
“Sadly, however, our volunteers have been unable to gain complete access to unredacted poll books in approximately 58 counties, and also have not been granted access to absentee records in approximately 24 counties,” McDaniel said. “Unfortunately we have had to pursue further legal remedies in order to gain access to election records,” McDaniel said. “In addition, even though we’ve been granted access to poll books in many counties, we have often not been allowed to view Democratic and Republican books at the same time, cross referencing next to impossible.”
“As a result of the misleading information coming from the Secretary of State’s office, many Clerks were confused about proper disclosure of election materials to the candidates. This has forced the Clerks and my team to needlessly expend resources on mandamus requests for materials that the statutes clearly say I am entitled to review,” McDaniel stated.
“Thankfully most of the Clerks understood that our request was not a public document request, but was a request made by a candidate or designee. The records were therefore not subject to redaction, and access should have been granted,” he continued.
“Under Mississippi state law, the candidate’s designee has the unfettered right to review unredacted poll books. Sadly, Mr. Hosemann’s attorney Kim Turner disseminated inaccurate information which apparently confused some the Clerks with respect to the ability of candidates and designees to view election records,” said McDaniel .
“It appears the message Delbert Hosemann’s office sent to Circuit Clerks was intended to confuse the Clerks so as to prevent full and unfettered access and disclosure of the poll books to our volunteers,” McDaniel continued.
“Secretary of State Hosemann should clarify the policy for the Clerks so my campaign’s designees can be granted access to election records,” he said.
“Our volunteers will continue to examine those election records they’re able to gain access to, and on Wednesday, July 16th, we will hold a press conference in Jackson to discuss the evidence we have documented and our next steps,” McDaniel concluded.