From the beginning, Senator Sojourner has taken very seriously the allegations of criminal election fraud in District 37. She and many volunteers and supporters have worked hard to inspect the ballots in Franklin and Adams County over the past few weeks to find the truth. As a result, Senator Sojourner officially filed with the Mississippi Senate on Wednesday what can only be described as a very credible and compelling list of infractions in the form of an election challenge. We believe this clearly shows that had it not been for criminal voter fraud Senator Sojourner would have been re-elected as Senator for District 37. Rest of post.
The Republican Senator Sojourner lost by 64 votes to former Democratic Senator Bob Dearing. She ousted him in the 2011 election. She charged in her petition that she lost due to criminal fraud. A poll watcher and former bailiff (for August primary) filed "criminal charges against four poll workers and an election commissioner who worked the Bude Precinct" during the November 3 election. She lost the precinct by 242 votes. She claims approximately 90 "improper and illegal actions" took place at that precinct. Some of those actions were:
*Illegally offering voter assistance to those who didn't request it or weren't disabled.
*poll workers illegally attempting to "aid or influence voters"
*poll workers "illegally violating the secrecy of the ballot"
*poll workers illegally entering the polling booth alone with voters
She cites O'Neal v. Simpson in arguing that such illegal assistance can render votes invalid. Ms. Sojourner also claims that one Anita Leonard witnesses and documented 30 illegal acts. They included poll workers not checking voter ID or not determining if voters were indeed qualified to vote at that precinct.
The good Senator also claimed voting irregularities took place in Adams County. She claimed that the absentee and affidavit ballots were not kept in a locked and sealed election box but "instead in a cardboard box which was sitting on the floor in the election commissioner's office." She alleges the "failure to secure" these ballots violated the law. She states that 234 of the 268 accepted absentee ballots did not have the witness signature written across the envelope flap as mandated by statute. The 234 ballots were allegedly commingled with the other ballots, thus tainting the entire group of Adams County absentee ballots. Senator Sojourner lost the absentee ballots in Adams County by a margin of 134 votes.
The petition also charges that several Adams County precinct ballot bags were either missing locks and seals or had zippers that could bypas the seal. There are other allegations that are stated in the petition posted below.
Ms. Sojourner asked the Mississippi Senate to investigate the election and reconsider its certification. She said the Senate should invalidate the illegal votes and declare her to be the winner.