Campaign strategies questioned and election law examined - - Jackson, MS

Campaign strategies questioned and election law examined

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The state's election laws are under the microscope with less than a week till the Republican primary.

When asked if he's reaching out to Democrats, Thad Cochran said, "well, of course I am" and it's a strategy that Cochran isn't afraid to admit.

"The voting processes ought to be open to everyone and whether you in the past were a Democrat or a Republican you're free in Mississippi to vote for a Republican candidate or a Democratic candidate," said Cochran.

He added, "I hope the more the merrier will prevail in this election."

His opponent Chris McDaniel is trying to raise a red flag on the tactic.

When asked what he would say to democrats who want to vote for him next Tuesday, McDaniel replied, "If there are conservatives out there no matter their orientation, they should come join."

Still, McDaniel calls Cochran's outreach to Dems alarming.

"He is pushing a record of liberalism, catering and pandering to the liberal democrats to steal a Mississippi election," McDaniel explained.

Some of McDaniel's supporters and the state Democratic party chairman argues that it goes against state law.

"The Mississippi code says 23-15-575 says a person shouldn't vote in a primary unless they intend to support that party's nominee," said Democratic party chairman Rickey Cole.

Mississippi College law professor Matt Steffey points to legal concerns over that law.

"The problem is that it's almost unimaginable to see how that could be constitutionally enforced," Steffey explained. "And for that matter how it can be constitutionally enforced consistent with our system of open primaries."

It was ruled unconstitutional by a district judge in 2007. Steffey said technicalities forced it to be overturned by the appeals court in 2008. He doesn't think the law has any standing as it relates to this election.

"I think it's at best a distraction and at worst misleading," added Steffey.

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