Neither Thad Cochran nor Chris McDaniel earned “50% +1” of the vote in the June 3rd primary election so the Republican Party will conduct a runoff election June 24th. In accordance with MS Code § 23-15-305, a primary candidate must have a majority of the vote cast to represent their party in the primary election. For an interesting history on the provision, read the Washington Post’s “Runoff elections a relic of the Democratic South.”
The Clarion-Ledger identified the following rules for runoff elections in their June 4th report:
- Voters who didn’t vote in Tuesday’s primary election can vote in the June 24 runoff election
- If a person voted in the Democratic primary Tuesday, he or she can’t vote in the June 24th Republican runoff or vice versa
- If a voter voted in the Republican primary, the voter can vote in the Republican runoff
A voter in the Democrat primary cannot participate in the Republican primary runoff due to provisions of MS Code § 23-15-575. This statute states, “No person shall be eligible to participate in any primary election unless he intends to support the nominations made in the primary in which he participates.” By voting in the Democrat Primary, the voter has already pledged their General Election vote to the Democrat nominee.
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann simplified the information above on the Paul Gallo Radio Show by stating, “Let’s put it this way, people who voted in the Democratic primary, they’re all about 100,000 of them, they can’t vote in the Republican primary. Everybody else can. . . Everyone who didn’t vote. . . have at it.” This presumes that the voter was eligible and registered to vote for the June 3rd primary.
For more information:
- Cochran & McDaniel Head to Runoff Election
- Mississippi GOP primary heads for runoff
- Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann clarifies runoff election rules on the Paul Gallo Radio Show (Interview starts at 1:07:35)
- CLARION-LEDGER: Runoff election rules explained
- Post-Election and Primary Runoff Information from Secretary of State
- Runoff elections a relic of the Democratic South
- MS Code § 23-15-305
- MS Code § 23-15-575