- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A bill clarifying who can vote in party primary runoffs is moving forward.

The House Thursday passed House Bill 1069 by a vote of 101-19. It makes it a misdemeanor to vote or try to vote in one party’s primary runoff after voting in another party’s primary.

The bill, which moves to the Senate, would put into law what is supposed to be practice.

Mississippi law bans people from voting in both primaries the same day. A longstanding attorney general’s legal opinion says the law prohibits people from crossing over to vote in a second party’s runoff.

“It’s a little change in the law, but it’s a very large effective change,” said House Elections Committee Chairman Bill Denny, R-Jackson.

Now and under the new law, someone who didn’t vote in a party primary could still vote in a party runoff.

The move comes after last year’s contentious Republican U.S. Senate primary between state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville and Thad Cochran. The incumbent Cochran won the runoff, but McDaniel accused him of improperly “raiding” Democrats to vote in the Republican runoff, including some who may have voted in the earlier Democratic primary.

A court never ruled on McDaniel’s accusations.

Denny’s bill also would repeal a Mississippi law that says a voter can participate in a party primary only if he intends to support that party’s nominee in the general election. A federal appeals court ruled in 2008 that the law is unenforceable, but McDaniel supporters cited it to bolster their claims.

___

Online: House Bill 1069: https://bit.ly/1BE2wy3


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide