by Matthew Boyle 16 Jul 2014, 1:46 PM PDT
The lawyer for state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon in Jackson, MS, that he has enough evidence to file for an official challenge of the election results, and will do so in the coming days.
“The million dollar question: What did we find? We found a lot,” Mitch Tyner, of Tyner Law Firm, said after he and McDaniel supporter state Sen. Michael Watson walked the press and McDaniel supporters at the press conference through how they have serious concerns with the election review process in Mississippi.
“We’ve heard it our entire lives in Mississippi,” Tyner said. “Votes are being bought. Ballot boxes are being stuffed. There are false affidavit ballots. There are invalid affidavit ballots. There are invalid absentee ballots—we’ve heard it all our lives. I’m 51 years old and it’s the first time I saw it up close and personal. It exists. We are committed to finding it and rooting it out and stopping it.”
Tyner thanked Sen. Watson for standing up against alleged voter fraud and said Watson “can do something about it in the next legislative session.”
Tyner walked those at the press conference through how the McDaniel campaign’s attorneys, especially Sen. Watson, have been arguing before various courts in the state for judges to order election officials in a variety of Mississippi’s 82 counties for orders that they open election materials up for inspection. Every time, Tyner noted, the judges have sided with Watson’s arguments and order election officials to open the materials up for McDaniel campaign review.
The campaign is asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to rule on the matter so that the poll books and other election materials can be opened up to the McDaniel campaign for no charge. “That’s the issue that we want to make sure that the Supreme Court rules on: that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, you still get to look at the poll books,” Tyner said.
Tyner walked reporters through the “categories of information we’ve been finding” next.
“There’s crossover votes, we know that,” Tyner said. “There’s illegal votes—all types of illegal votes going on, absentee problems, votes that were cast—we’re going as far as into the boxes to see if how many people signed in are the same number that were cast. You’re going to be astonished. They aren’t. It’s amazing. You’re going to see problem after problem after problem.”
Tyner then addressed how Sen. Thad Cochran’s campaign and its supporters have said there’s no evidence in public yet, so there’s nothing there. “Am I going to sit right here and try my case in the media and do a tit-for-tat with the Cochran campaign?” Tyner asked rhetorically. “‘We found this but it says that.’ I’m not going to do that. We’re going to be mature about this.”
Tyner promised that soon, when the campaign files its challenge, it will publish all the evidence for the public to see. “We’re going to put it all together in a complete package,” Tyner said. “I was really hoping we’d have it today. Monday, a week ago, I was sure we would. But I wasn’t sure we were going to run into this many problems. We’re going to get that together and at the same time we file a challenge, we’re going to give you a complete copy of it.”
Tyner also told the reporters that he’ll be providing a copy of the evidence to federal and state law enforcement officials as well. “We’re not only going to give it to you guys in the media, we’re also going to give a copy of it to the U.S. Attorney, to the Federal Election Commission, and we’re also going to give it to the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi,” Tyner said to cheers from McDaniel supporters at the press conference.
Tyner said that this is “much bigger than” just differences between Cochran and McDaniel.
“I praise Chris for not throwing in the towel,” Tyner said. “The conventional wisdom is out there. Everyone knows he was a very popular candidate and everyone knows he could have conceded and written his ticket for any office next year. But Chris McDaniel said, ‘no, I want to root out the problems. I want to integrity in this process, and if it destroys my political career so be it.’ That’s the kind of candidate we need for every elected office in Mississippi as well as inside the beltway.”
When local reporter Scott Simmons asked them if they have enough evidence to file a legal challenge of the election, Tyner replied: “Yes. There’s already enough evidence to file the challenge.”
When Simmons followed up to ask if that evidence is entirely ineligible crossover votes—Democrats who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary then in the June 24 GOP primary runoff—Tyner responded that he’s “not going to go into the specifics of everything, but crossover votes are a big part of our challenge.”