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TTC Publishes Senator Melanie Sojourner Senate Election Contest Petition

Thursday, December 3, 2015, 11:50 pm News Flash Archive

The Taxpayers Channel has obtained and here publishes the Election Contest Petition filed yesterday by State Senator Melanie Sojourner, contesting the November 3rd election of Bob Dearing to take her seat in Senate District 37. The contest was filed as required by law with the State Senate, and may be viewed here:

Sojourner Election Contest Petition

Sojourner, a first term Republican, was bested by Bob Dearing, a long-time member whom she had defeated in 2011. This time, Dearing was certified the winner by 64 votes out of 16,000 cast.

But allegations quickly surfaced of election fraud at the Bude precinct in Franklin County. Dearing beat Sojourner almost 3 to 1 in that precinct, but criminal complaints were filed against four poll workers and an election commissioner, and the Circuit Judge issued warrants for their arrests.

The allegations, which are detailed in the Complaint, included claims that the poll workers provided illegal voter assistance to persons who did not qualify under Mississippi's strict rules governing voting assistance. In addition, it has been alleged that the poll workers failed to require mandated voter id verification. In all, some 90 votes are impacted by these allegations of election fraud.

Sojourner then applied for, and carried out, an examination of the ballot boxes, during which, she claims, she discovered a variety of election law violations regarding the sealing and security of ballots and ballot boxes, the opening and counting of illegal absentee ballots, and various other matters.

Most importantly, in Adams County, Sojourner claims she found 234 absentee ballots that were opened and counted even thought the witness' signature does not cross the flap on the envelope bearing the elector's certificate as required by law. State law mandates that the absentee ballot be properly witnessed by a signature that crosses the flap of the envelope, and the failure to do so renders the ballot illegal.

If true, this would appear to throw the election to Sojourner outright, because if these absentee ballots are declared to be illegal, Dearing would lose a minimum of 76 more votes than Sojourner, more than enough to reverse the vote total and give her the win.

A committee of Senators must now be appointed to review the election contest and file a recommendation to the full Senate as to how to decide the matter.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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