Skip to comments.Text of statement by Hinds County Republican Party Chairman Pete Perry
Posted on 06/27/2014 12:14:05 PM PDT by don-o
Statement of Hinds County Republican Party Chairman Pete Perry:
"Yesterday afternoon, someone claiming to represent the Mississippi State Tea Party held a press conference in this Courthouse to make some careless accusations about the voting in Hinds County for the Republican nomination for United States Senate. This morning, I'd like to provide some facts in response.
First of all, some background on the election mechanics in Hinds County:
Hinds County has 118 precincts each of which has 3 to 5 poll workers who are hired by the County Republican Executive Committee and are paid $100 for a 14 to 15 hour day. Many of the 500 or so Hinds County citizens who work as poll workers have been working the same ballot boxes for years. They take pride in their work, their involvement with the community, and their participation in the democratic process. I am certain that on June 24th, there were McDaniel supporters, Cochran supporters, and even the rare undecided voter working as poll workers in Hinds County.
I provide this background on the poll workers because of their essential role in this process. When each voter comes to the polling station, the poll workers check the registration books and the voter's identification before providing them a ballot. If there is a challenge to a voter's eligibility by a poll watcher from a campaign, the poll workers rule on their eligibility or provide an affidavit ballot to the voter. After the polls close, at each precinct, the poll workers download the election results, tally the absentee ballots for the precinct, and then return everything to the Courthouse where their results are added to the others.
To help the poll workers navigate the election legalities and the ever- changing technology of the voting machines, we have training classes for the poll workers. For this election cycle, we conducted more than two dozen classes to train these workers. Prior to the June 24th run-off, we had additional classes to address the upcoming runoff election. One of the key subjects of this supplemental training was that for the run-off, nobody that voted in the June 3rd Democrat primary could vote in the June 24th Republican run-off. Additional material was given to all poll workers addressing this specific issue. To help prevent mistakes, the Republican and Democrat parties switch the poll books for each precinct for a run-off. Since we don't register by political party in Mississippi, the poll books list all voters. The theory of switching the poll books is that if a Republican poll worker is using the book that was used by the Democrats in the first election, then when a voter comes to vote in the Republican run-off, the poll worker can quickly see if the voter's name is checked as having voted in the first Democrat primary.
As I understand it, the complaint by the representative of the Tea Party yesterday was that 'they had found over 800 instances of June 3 voters in the Democrat primary who illegally voted in the June 24 runoff election.'
Instead of making wild accusations which stir up social media with cries of fraud and corruption, it would be much better for all involved Ð the voters, the candidates, the 500 poll workers in Hinds County Ð if we let facts enter into the conversation. And the facts are that their claims are wildly exaggerated. As a committee, we are still in the process of going through the election results before they can be certified, but this morning we can discuss some of the specific examples that were raised yesterday.
As an example in Precinct 14, the Fondren Presbyterian Church precinct, the numbers cited by the McDaniel campaign yesterday included 192 'illegal votes' Ð people that they claimed had voted in the Democrat primary on June 3rd but then voted in the Republican run-off. That is impossible. According to the certified results of the June 3rd Democrat primary, there were only 37 total Democrat primary voters at that particular precinct. I am providing you with a redacted copy of a sample page from the poll books used at that precinct.
A simple look at this page shows what Ms. Overscheld is claiming as illegal votes. This is nothing more than an instance where a poll worker started marking an individual's vote in the June 3rd column, rather than in the June 24th column. At some point the worker realized his or her mistake and corrected it Ð crossing out the 'voted' notation in the June 3rd column and moving it to its proper place. That is the correct procedure for the managers Ð but the McDaniel campaign is claiming that this is an example of illegal votes.
Ms. Overscheld was aware of this and other similar instances when she made her statement yesterday, but continued with her charade trying to provide known inflated numbers. In fact, when she made her statement yesterday, she had inflated their own numbers to make it appear to be worse than they had actually found. Later that night, the candidate himself again inflated the numbers to now being 'over 1000.' Elections are about specifics, not generalities. We count and account for each and every vote; we do not inflate or deflate numbers for campaign purposes.
We have not gone through every voter accused yesterday by Ms. Oversheld but we will do so before we complete our canvass of all the election matters. I am confident that as we continue to look at the specific cases, this bogus number cited yesterday will be reduced significantly.
Instead of crying fraud or illegality or corruption Ð rhetoric that is designated to inflame passions Ð it would be helpful if those making wild accusations would consider other possibilities.
For example, one of the 800 plus 'illegal voters' accused yesterday was cast by a lady who attempted to vote in the Pinehaven precinct. She came to vote in the Republican primary on June 24th and the poll worker checked the poll book and saw that she was marked as having voted in the Democrat primary on June 3rd so the poll worker denied her a ballot. One problem though Ð she was in the hospital on June 3rd. She had a colonoscopy that day and did not vote. No corruption, no fraud, just a simple human mistake. A clerical error was made by a Democrat poll worker on June 3rd.
Those mistakes happen. And I'm sure that some mistakes happened on Tuesday in the Republican primary. I'm sure that there were mistakes in Hinds County, Jones County and every one of the 82 counties in the State, and that both candidates were affected positively and negatively. That's what happens, when in Hinds County alone, 500 one-day workers Ð moreso volunteers than professionals Ð process and tally the 25,000 voters on election day.
I am very pleased with how the election went in Hinds County on Tuesday. The more than 500 people involved with running the election operated in a professional manner and helped participate in a record voter turnout. As a lifelong Republican, it is very gratifying to me personally to see so many new voters in the Republican primary not just in Hinds County but across the state."
Sounds like some thoughtful Democrat voted for her while she was indisposed.
He’s got a nerve, pretending to take the high road and talking about iflaming passions when that’s exactly what Cochran’s campaign did to McDaniels with their accusations of racist and such, to pander for rat votes.
Let’s cover up this steaming fetid pile of poop with another steaming fetid pile of poop.
(At least Mr Perry was able to dye his hair before his on camera appearance. /snark)
Can you believe this crap???
Democrat fraud voting used as an alibi!
Precisely. It's not the example I would have chosen to illustrate the integrity of the voting process I was supervising.
Amazing, and disgusting at the same time. The fix is in. Cochran will go forward. Only options are to vote (D) or not vote at all. Cochran, like McConnell, needs to lost at all cost.
The fish rots from the head.
He talks like he’s the Supervisor of Elections, not a party Chairman.
Hinds County, unfortunately, was where several McDaniel campaign people were accidentally locked themselves into the courthouse where they had gone late at night to check the voting records. I don’t know if they were there legitimately, that is, as regular poll watchers verifying the tallies, or if they just had just taken it upon themselves to look into suspicions of fraud, but it certainly didn’t look good in the press.
I think there is probably something seriously wrong in Hinds County and the local board of elections is used to covering up their errors.
As for the lady with the colonoscopy, that’s not an all-day procedure, and the polls stay open for long enough hours that she could have voted either before or afterwards.
It sounds as if the McDaniel campaign's wild accusations about voter fraud have been trumped by the facts.
“Thou doth protest too loudly”, is sounding very germane.
Texas has the same law about voting crossover in Primary runoffs. Never hear much about so many “mistakes” by Poll workers. Maybe its simply a Mississippi stump-jumper thing.
Primary elections are a hybrid/weird critter. Party hacks (in the form of "county executive committee") act as election overseeers in primary contests, by statute.
The quote is, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” but I get your point.
Either she is lying, or somebody voted for her.
There is no third door.
What a lying piece of S#HIT! Make the charges, Chris!
Exactly.. this is pure cover-up. We have the pics!
There was a democratic runoff in the extreme northeastern part of Hinds County on June 24. Mississippis 3rd Congressional District includes the northeast corner of Hinds County. There was a runoff between Doug Magee and Dennis Quinn. I would guess the photo of the ballot page everyone is referencing is a photo of a poll book from one of those precincts.
This northeastern corner of Hinds County includes parts of the city of Jackson, thus the Jackson addresses on the poll sheet.
That was my first thought. However, it most certainly isn’t the case.
That page is from Precinct 61 in Hinds County (part of Jackson, MS) and the voters are from the MS 2nd Congressional District (USH02) not USH03 where the Democrat runoff was held.
Further, the poll books were switched between parties for the runoff. So the Republicans used the Democrat primary poll books for the runoff and the Democrats used the Republican primary poll books. They did so to prevent cross-over voters because the poll workers could see immediately whether or the voter voted in the Democrat primary.
Or have used an absentee ballot?
McInnis alleged in an interview with Breitbart News that Connie Cochran, Sen. Cochran’s sister-in-law and the Perry and Hinds County election commissioner, asked local Democrats not to switch the poll books.
“In the state of Mississippi, you have to take steps to prevent crossover voting,” McInnis said. “If you voted Democrat in the Democratic primary, you can’t vote in the Republican runoff. The way we protect that is we switch the poll books. Pete Perry and Connie Cochran, who’s the chair of the election commission, called us and asked us not to switch the books—which is a clear violation of the law.”
McInnis told Breitbart News he personally witnessed at least one Hinds County precinct—Precinct 16—where the books had not been switched during the runoff day. “I went out to a precinct to make sure the laws were being followed, and I got there at about 4 o’clock p.m.,” McInnis said. “They had not switched the books, under the influence of the young Republican and Democratic workers there. I demanded that they switch these books immediately. The Democratic poll manager there switched the books at 4 o’clock that evening.
McInnis said he thinks Perry engaged in this practice throughout the entire county, but he can’t be sure because Democrats were only allowed inside 15 of the county’s 109 precincts on election day. Two Democrat candidates for the U.S. House third congressional district in Mississippi headed to a runoff, and while Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) represents most of Hinds County, the third congressional district has 15 precincts inside Hinds County.
“I think this was county-wide, but we only had 15 precincts because we only had a small runoff in a very small part of the county; we only had 15 precincts in the eastern part of the county,” McInnis said. “The rest of the county had only the Republican runoff, so we had no authority to go to Republican polling places and do anything about it. But in the places we could, we did—because we did not want to be accused of anything with the Republican Party.”
When asked how Perry could have succeeded in not switching the books—since he and other Democrats refused to cooperate with his request on the grounds that they believed it was illegal—McInnis replied that he worked with Sen. Cochran’s sister-in-law—the election commissioner in Hinds County—to get the job done. “Connie Cochran is the election commissioner,” McInnis said.
“I can’t tell you if he did this at all the precincts, but I can tell you at the precincts I went to, they didn’t switch the books. I know one woman at one precinct where she had voted in the Democratic primary, but she also was allowed to vote in the Republican runoff. It happened at more than one precinct.”
McInnis and his fellow Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee member, Chairwoman Jacqueline Amos-Norris, provided Breitbart News with email evidence that Perry and Connie Cochran were trying to not “switch the books” on runoff day. “Connie, unless I send you something in writing, it does not exist,” Norris wrote to Connie Cochran in the email dated June 18, six days before the runoff. “Claude informed me of what Pete said to you about the Poll Books and that’s not true and not legal. If I need to come down, please let me know.
What supposedly happened, according to McInnis and Norris, is that Perry told Connie Cochran that McInnis agreed to not switch the books. McInnis and Norris both said that isn’t and wasn’t true, which was why Norris sent that email to Connie Cochran to inform her that it was not true.
“She stated that she told him it wasn’t going to happen, and that was the end of it,” Norris told Breitbart News.
Before this email exchange and this interview with McInnis was published, Perry told local news outlet MS News Now that he did switch the books. “It’s the easiest way for a poll worker to be able to look and see,” explained Perry. “Instead of printing out a list that you’ve got to work from the list, when I look up your name I can look right there and tell if you voted in the Democratic primary.
In his statement, Perry reiterated that Hinds County had switched the poll books:
To help prevent mistakes, the Republican and Democrat parties switch the poll books for each precinct for a run-off. Since we dont register by political party in Mississippi, the poll books list all voters. The theory of switching the poll books is that if a Republican poll worker is using the book that was used by the Democrats in the first election, then when a voter comes to vote in the Republican run-off, the poll worker can quickly see if the voters name is checked as having voted in the first Democrat primary.
Please post that a separate thread. That’s big news.
Ok, but it will take 1/2 hour, unless you want to do it.
But I suggest you check out the federal privacy act and Mississippi's version too.
Little too much personal information on these folks regardless of how they voted. Name, address, and voter ID can be used for fraud.
Do not hand ammunition to your enemies.
This is starting to smell really bad, isn’t it?
That page of the poll book was properly redacted by the circuit clerk according to MS Election Code. Voter rolls with that information are available online throughout much of the U.S. My voter information is available publicly in Texas.
Mississippi Election Code 23-15-165
(6) (a) Social security numbers, telephone numbers and date of birth and age information in statewide, district, county and municipal voter registration files shall be exempt from and shall not be subject to inspection, examination, copying or reproduction under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
(b) Copies of statewide, district, county or municipal voter registration files, excluding social security numbers, telephone numbers and date of birth and age information, shall be provided to any person in accordance with the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983 at a cost not to exceed the actual cost of production.
Attorney General Opinion #2000-0112.
Any and all requests for access to or copies of county voter registration records must be made to the county registrar, and it is the duty and responsibility of the county registrar to insure that voters’ social security numbers, telephone numbers, and dates of birth and age information are excluded prior to granting access or providing copies of such records.
Indisposed all day? Not hardly.
Because a Cochran supporter said so?
What’s wrong with you?
His drivel is no longer available for display.