A sitting Mississippi GOP state lawmaker wants the legislature to declare her the winner of an election she lost so she can retain her seat.
Republicans have been trotting out a new tactic in an effort to outright steal elections from their Democratic opponents, even if they lose fair and square.
In Kentucky last month, Governor Matt Bevin lost to his Democratic opponent, only for the GOP-controlled statehouse to consider overthrowing the will of the people to keep executive power.
In the end, the legislature let democracy prevail, and now Bevin will be sent packing when his term in office ends.
But the Mississippi state legislature has been dominated by Republicans for years, and they have a history of stealing elections from Democratic candidates who beat them.
And now GOP state Rep. Ashley Henley is resorting to begging for them to do the same for her after she lost her House race to Democratic candidate Hester Jackson-McCray by 14 votes, an upset that further sent a message to the Republican Party ahead of 2020.
Henley sent a challenge notice to the legislature this week asking the Republican majority to void the election results, all while throwing every allegation of election fraud at the wall to see what sticks.
According to Mississippi Today:
Her specific grievances, based on a ballot box examination she said she conducted, include: A failure to collect voter signatures in one of the district’s six precincts and a lack of an incident report detailing why the signatures weren’t collected. She also alleges discovering: two uncounted paper ballots in which Henley’s name was marked; 11 names of voters who voted in a specific precinct while no records of their residency within that precinct could be found; voter signature receipts not being stapled to the corresponding pages of the voter receipt book; and several ballots being “unaccounted for/missing.”
“There were irregularities that happened, absolutely, documented, very much so that bring into question the legitimacy of the election results,” Henley said in a statement. “That is without question.”
Again, this is a pervasive gripe by Republicans these days who don’t like the results of an election. Like President Donald Trump did after losing the popular vote in 2016, Republicans cry election fraud and voting irregularities as the reasons why they lost. You know, because they can’t have possibly lost a fair election.
Jackson-McCray, however, saw right through this desperate attempt by Henley.
“Elections are elections,” she said. “It’s not a guaranteed position. Anybody could come along and beat you. I just beat you fair and square. Hard work just beat you this time. She has the right to go through the technicalities, but I think if people read this notice she’s putting out, it looks like she’s arguing that her own party didn’t manage the election right. The election was run by Republicans. The DeSoto County election commissioners are Republicans. The Secretary of State is a Republican.”
If Republicans reverse the victory and declare Henley the winner it would be yet another example of how they are trying to rig elections in their favor, a tactic they can also employ in 2020 during the presidential election to ensure Trump wins a second term and the Republicans keep the Senate. They’ll cry election fraud and use their control of legislatures to undo the results. Basically, they would be telling anyone who votes for Democrats that their votes don’t matter. And that’s why watchdogs, voting experts, and election attorneys need to pay attention to this challenge. Because if Republicans do what Henley is requesting, it sets the stage for election theft in broad daylight in 2020 that could spell the end of democracy forever.
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