Breitbart: Mississippi Supreme Court Rejects McDaniel’s Request For Access To Election Records

Mississippi Supreme Court Rejects McDaniel’s Request For Access To Election Records

By Matthew Boyle, Breitbart News, July 17, 2014


The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request by state Sen. Chris McDaniel to grant him unfettered access to un-redacted election records from the June 24 GOP primary runoff against Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).

McDaniel’s team had asked the court to issue a blanket ruling ordering courthouses throughout the state of Mississippi to grant him or his designees access to un-redacted poll books and other information at no cost. McDaniel’s legal team says that, while they have enough evidence—which they are not sharing with the public at this time—for a challenge of the election results, they want to fully examine all of the records in each of Mississippi’s 82 counties before doing so, because they can’t add new evidence into the case after the challenge is filed.

More specifically, what McDaniel was asking the court was to clarify whether poll books apply to election materials as contained under Mississippi law. There is a specific Mississippi code, section 23-15-911, that allows a candidate or his designee to review the contents of ballot boxes after an election. McDaniel wanted the court to rule that the statute applies to poll books—which contain the names and other information about who voted on election day, as recorded by poll workers at the various some-1,200 precincts statewide.

The court denied McDaniel’s emergency petition for writ of mandamus, which would have been a court order that would have allowed him, as his lawyers asked the court, “access to and full examination of all of the original election materials from the June 24, 2014[,] Republican Party primary runoff election, including such poll books and materials necessary to confirm the validity and legality of votes cast in that runoff election.”

While certainly a heavy blow against his effort to launch an official challenge of the results soon, the ruling doesn’t knock McDaniel out.

McDaniel’s attorney Mitch Tyner of the Tyner Law Firm said at a press conference Wednesday in Jackson, MS, that he believes the campaign already has enough evidence for a challenge, despite the efforts by some counties to continue blocking access to such records, where evidence is available.

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 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.

McDaniel’s in a tough spot now: The longer the campaign waits to publish any evidence it has, the more support he loses from conservative leaders who are waiting for action. But the campaign doesn’t want to give Cochran’s more-well-funded legal team any extra heads-up about the evidence ahead of a challenge.

“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 at Wednesday’s press conference, which was widely panned by the mainstream media. “‘We found this but it says that.’ I’m not going to do that. We’re going to be mature about this.”

If the public is not entitled to see the un-redacted poll books, then the Establishment has the power to steal every single election! Shame on the Supreme Court! – MCD



  1. Personal says:

    Get over it, Chris McDaniels does not need birthdate, social security numbers, nor phones numbers of the people who voted against him….that information is personal. Period!!!!
    If he can prove his case, prove it, however personal informal is called personal for a reason.
    Get over it,

    • It’s called having “duplicate names.” Some personal information is required to determine who these people are who voted. It helps to weed out fraud in the system, which obviously you are for!

    • There is a guy who works election-challenges named John Pittman Hey, who got so tired of answering why DOB was essential that in mid-July he finally wrote up a nine-page essay explaining exactly why birthdate matters, and how it is used fraudulently. Please see —

      Here are some other blog-entries where you can find John in the commentary, looking smarter and more cogent than the others (and putting his name to his commentary too).

      In a nutshell, if you have the DOB, you can verify:

      1. the voter was over eighteen years old. There were a lot of pro-Cochran voters trying to get their away-at-college-kids to vote for Cochran via absentee; see twitter evidence.

      2. votes cast in the name of a dead person. You can check the federal DB for this info, but only by DOB, not by name alone; because MS has voter-ID it is no longer possible for the dead to vote “in person” but this is still possible with absentee-ballots, of which about 19k were cast in the 6/24 runoff, and of which over 2k were found to be invalid for one reason or another by McDaniel volunteers & laywers; see the PDF at with hundreds of pages of evidence.

      3. people double-registering and then voting more than once. In particular, many voters are no longer living in Mississippi (there is one example of a person who moved to Memphis), but are still registered to vote here. Similarly, people may move from one county to another, but still be registered to vote in both; the voter themselves may then attempt to vote twice, once at home and once at their old location, or more insidiously, a criminal might send in an absentee ballot “for” the double-registered voter, in the county where they used to live. It is possible to search for names nationwide using just “John Doe” but you end up with thousands or tens of thousands of results, for every voter: too many to check. With the DOB info, you can just search nationwide for John Doe born on 1/2/33, which will give you back exactly one match (or at most a handful of matches with which to verify no double-registration occurred).

      4. people who have two legal names (Jane Doe + maiden name Jane Boe). Same problem as the double-registering in point#3, the person may try to double-vote, but more likely, a criminal will send in an absentee-ballot, mis-using the person’s stale registration under their maiden-name.

      5. people who have the “same” legal name (John Doe Sr + John Doe Jr). Often both people will vote, which looks like double-voting, but is not. DOB prevents falsely accusing the person of doing something wrong, because you know Sr is age 65, and Jr is age 35.

      6. when doing signature-matching, knowing the DOB can sometimes be helpful (see PDF for the details, similar to point#5 mostly). Plus, an elderly voter will often have an unfirm sig now in 2014 which may not exactly “match” the sig on their voter registration that they filled out in 1977 or whatever; DOB can prevent false accusations.

      7. when matching up absentee-ballots to absentee-ballot-apps to voter-registrations, the DOB is often very helpful to keeping things straight. An example is given in one of the comments by JPH, where a fraudulent voter registered to vote under their name and home address, then later submitted an absentee-ballot-app under their name but using a work address, and voted twice — he caught them easily because the DOB was the same in both cases.

      8. people applying for absentee-ballots due to age (too old to travel to the polling-place) who are not old enough. MS law says you have to be 65+ to cast an absentee ballot because of old age; otherwise, you have to be active duty military or otherwise not in-state, or some other valid reason for absentee. Only way to know if the absentee-voter was 65+ is with the DOB.

      9. affidavit ballots are very sensitive to DOB information, according to JPH. These are the cases where the voter went to the polling-place, but “forgot” their voter-ID; they have to fill out some information on the spot, and bring a voter-ID to the courthouse later on, filling out more info then. Getting this stuff to match up to the millions of voters on the registration-rolls in MS is very difficult, due to handwriting/moves/memory/etc, but the DOB is usually firm (easy to decipher / does not change when you move to a new house / not something people usually forget). Doing the affidavit-matching with DOB in hand is easy; doing so without DOB is difficult, or sometimes impossible. This is a small category of votes as of 2014, only about 250 statewide, but fraudsters will change tactics to find the easiest holes, so DOB is important long-term, even though there were not many affidavit-ballots during 2014. Note that sometimes clerks reject affidavits erroneously; DOB-match helps fix those mistakes, too.

      10. not hammered on explicitly by JPH, but a key factor in the court cases McDaniel and TTV filed during July trying to get access to unredacted election-materials during July, is the cost issue. Because of the way MS keeps election-records, the issue of whether to permit DOB-information to be reviewed, is a prohibitively expensive question.

      10_A. the redaction fees. If you want the bureaucrats at the local courthouse to redact the birthdates, they charge you a dollar per page in Hinds, fifty cents per page in Rankin, a quarter per page in Madison, and other amounts in other counties. This adds up quick, because there are 1.8m registered voters, and the pollbooks show all of them (with DOB), whether they voted in the primaries or not this year. At ten names per page, that’s 180k pages for the dem pollbooks, and another 180k pages for the repub pollbooks… or double that number, for counties that print out a new set for each election-day including a fresh set for runoffs. Even if a lot of counties will do the redaction for free, as part of their job verifying election integrity, the counties that charge a buck a page drive the average cost up quickly: easily tens of thousands of bucks, and more likely into the hundreds of thousands, just in fees.

      10_B. the ongoing costs. Those fees is on top of the time and money it takes for actually reviewing the records, which is very significant. More importantly, those tens or hundreds of thousands of bucks in fees, are repeated for *every* election, year after year after year. Redacting SSNs, by contrast, is not very expensive, because those are not reprinted in the pollbooks, but only in the voter-registration materials (and maybe the absentee-ballot-applications and such). Redacting the DOB … if the circuit clerks charge per-page fees … gets incredibly expensive fast.

      10_C. the time factor. It also takes a long time (circuit clerk staffers doing the work… plus negotiating the circuit clerk bureaucracy just to get the work started), delaying the election-challenge significantly. There is a good reason Austin Barbour was immediately on teevee, saying put up or shut up, one week after the runoff: because he knew quite well that the circuit clerks were not giving volunteers access to the evidence, and in some cases, not giving McDaniel access to the evidence.

      10_D. the ongoing time factor. Even if the circuit-clerks had done their jobs quickly and well, redacting the DOBs from the pollbooks and providing the evidence-sans-DOBs within a couple of days, actually *analyzing* the evidence-sans-DOBs becomes much harder (and therefore much more expensive and time-consuming in terms of the people & effort required) when you do not have the DOB information. See the nine points above: every obstacle that you hit, when trying to verify whether hundreds of thousands of votes were or were not fraudulent, will quickly snowball.

      Fundamentally, the reason that McDaniel in his state court lawsuits of July — and for that matter TrueTheVote and their ongoing federal court lawsuit of July — were trying to get the DOB problem solved was all of these issues, but the kicker is #10_B and #10_D. If we don’t get the redaction-fees out of the way, that doesn’t hurt us in the 2014 election-challenge, because McDaniel has the donations to cover the tens of thousands in fees (plus the donations to file the lawsuits against those fees). But what about in 2015 elections? What about in the 2016 elections?

      Pretty soon, the pro-Cochran estab-repubs are going to try and get every circuit clerk in every county in Mississippi to charge five bucks a page in fees, is the worry: as Stalin was rumored to have said, it does not matter who gets the most votes, it matters who counts the votes. The certified election results were counted, and the answer came back: Cochran wins by 7700 votes. But plenty of those votes were illegal-double-votes, plenty were invalid-absentee-ballots, and plenty of them were illegal-double-votes that somebody later erased to retroactively legalize them. Thousands and thousands of votes!

      Is the DOB personally-identifiable information? Yes, probably. Is the DOB absolutely necessary? No, but it really helps.

      One obvious thing that would help: if the DOB is *not* going to be released, then *stop* printing it in the pollbooks! That would cut redaction-costs to zero, because the DOB is the only thing in the pollbooks that needs redacting. This is a no-brainer, for 2015 and beyond, in my mind.

      Another obvious thing that would help: if the DOB is not going to be available, then upgrade the death-databases and registration-databases, so that duplicate-registrations and deceased-voters can be feasibly found through another mechanism (like their home & work zipcodes at *any* point in their lives).

      However, there is also the alternative of just biting the bullet: according to JPH, the birthdate was always available in the voter-rolls, for every registered voter, up until 1997. The full home address and full legal name are still visible… and I can tell you from experience, getting the person’s age from that info is a piece of cake (plus often their phone number and facebook page and sometimes an email address). Is the age of a voter that secret?

      If we do want to keep most of the DOB secret, maybe it makes sense to keep part of it non-secret: just printing the year of birth (not month and day) would solve partly #1, #2, #3, #4, partly #5, #6, partly #7, partly #8, partly #9, and the vast majority of #10 (as long as the month-n-day were kept from being printed in the pollbooks in the first place).

      Or we could print only the month and day of birth (excluding the year) in the pollbooks; that would help less, since it would not be useful for #1/#6/#8, but would still solve most of #2, #3, #4, #5, #7, #9, and a significant portion of #10 (again assuming what stuff we actually print in the pollbooks is changed going forward).

      One interesting technique that could help, is if we revamped the entire system of storing sensitive information: instead of keeping the DOB and home address and name of the voter, printed visibly in the pollbooks, we could use one-way hashes to store their personal information in a uniquely-identifiable-yet-totally-opaque fashion, and then use zero-knowledge-proofs to verify that the election was clean. This is not an easy pathway to implement, but there are some good computer wizards working on such schemes, and I expect we will see more of a push to get mathematically-proven-secure elections in the future.

      As for today, I quite frankly don’t know what the correct answer is for the DOB question, but this is a case where we have to balance the costs of verifying election-integrity, with the risks of revealing personal information. Usually, I am the sort of person that would side with keeping personal information personal, whenever possible. The case of elections is one where, in my mind, identification of the persons voting is pretty darn important: if you don’t know who voted, how can you verify that there was exactly one vote cast per human?

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