When Americans vote, it’s a secret ballot. No one knows who you voted for except you. But there is a public record about whether you voted, including records on primary elections.
In Mississippi, this is proving to be a problem for Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R) right-wing primary challenger (thanks to my colleague Laura Conaway for the heads-up).
Records show ultra-conservative Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel voted as a Democrat in the 2003 state primary.But McDaniel and others question the accuracy of the records and accuse Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a potential opponent, of using state resources for “opposition research” on McDaniel. Hosemann denies this and said McDaniel is trying to deflect attention from his voting record.
Voting records from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office – which are open materials, available to anyone – show that McDaniel did, in fact, participate in a Democratic primary in 2003, though the Republican candidate apparently isn’t eager acknowledge his background.
As the Clarion-Ledger report helped document, McDaniel initially declared, “I have never voted in a Democratic primary.” A day later, his campaign manager said McDaniel may have participated in the Democratic primary, but only because of local elections.
But what’s especially amusing about this story is that McDaniel conceded having a role at a neo-Confederate and pro-secessionist conference in June.
In other words, in Mississippi, if you’re running in a Republican Senate primary, neo-Confederate associations are tolerable, but Democratic associations must be reflexively denied and rejected.
Good to know.