A conservative group of illegal-voting alarmists (True the Vote) has filed an injunction against certification of the results of a hot nationally-broadcast Mississippi Republican Party primary runoff election, on the grounds that the election came out wrong. This lawsuit is an excellent illustration of the potential abuse of the electoral process that can occur when parties other than candidates are allowed to delay or question the validity of election outcomes, and the reason why the mechanism of contesting elections should only be available to losing candidates. Otherwise, the will of the voters is frustrated and delayed as the judiciary intrudes into the executive governmental process.
True the Vote’s case would be a total non-starter in Texas; our statutes regarding election contests state quite clearly and bluntly that the only parties with standing to contest a primary election are the losing nominees.
In Mississippi, the law is a little less explicit – Section 23-15-923 of the Mississippi Code allows a “party” (without qualifiers) the option of filing a formal inquiry with the party executive committee following a primary. If the filing party isn’t happy with the executive committee’s resolution of the matter, the party can then file an election contest. But True the Vote isn’t a party “aggrieved” – the organization has no property interest in the nomination at issue, and no independent legal authority to contest or challenge the outcome of the primary.
Further, Mississippi law makes clear that only candidates or their representatives have any right to demand an inspection of the ballots and returns following a primary. See Miss. Code Ann. 23-15-911.