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Election Challenge Takes to Court, Judge Wants Trial Over Before General Election

Contributing author: Courtney Carter

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Wednesday was the first hearing in Jones County Circuit Court for State Senator Chris McDaniel’s challenge of the June 24 senate runoff election.

Retired Judge Hollis McGehee was appointed last week by the Mississippi Supreme Court to handle the lawsuit.

During Wednesday’s hearing, McGehee noted that this was the first time a statewide election has ever been contested in court.

McDaniel’s attorney, Mitch Tyner asked the judge to order the state’s 82 country circuit clerks to preserve election materials. The judge said he would not be able to set an injunction, but would notify the circuit clerks to preserve election material from the June 3 and 24 elections.

Tyner also asked for an injunction on the Secretary of State’s office, to prevent them from printing general election ballots until the case is heard. The judge said he could not issue an injunction for that because the Secretary of State’s office was not named in the lawsuit.

McGehee said that he will file a scheduling of the trail by the end of the week and he is considering September 15 or 22 as the start of the trial. His goal is to complete the case before the general election. McGehee originally considered September 30 but said that would be too harsh on time.

Both parties agree that the ballots should not be printed until the issue is resolved. Military votes were supposed to go out in mid-September but that will await trial. Here’s what Mitch Tyner said about the military votes

The next court hearing will be August 28 at 9:30 a.m.

20140820_093734Judge Hollis McGehee 20140820_095550

McDaniel’s party going into recess. They want the evidence gathered so far to remain untouched.

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