On Thursday, Mississippi Today reported that state Rep. Ashley Henley, who lost her bid for re-election to Democrat Hester Jackson-McCray by just 14 votes in November, has filed a request for the GOP-controlled state legislature to overturn the results of the election and seat Henley for another term.
Henley cites what she claims are several irregularities in voter signature collection, and “missing” ballots. “There were irregularities that happened, absolutely, documented, very much so that bring into question the legitimacy of the election results,” said Henley said. “That is without question.”
Jackson-McCray has dismissed Henley’s challenge as nonsense. “Elections are elections. It’s not a guaranteed position. Anybody could come along and beat you. I just beat you fair and square. Hard work just beat you this time. She has the right to go through the technicalities, but I think if people read this notice she’s putting out, it looks like she’s arguing that her own party didn’t manage the election right. The election was run by Republicans. The DeSoto County election commissioners are Republicans. The Secretary of State is a Republican.”
If Henley’s request is granted, it would not be the first time. Four years ago, Democratic incumbent Bo Eaton and GOP challenger Mark Tullos tied for a state House seat, after which Eaton drew the tiebreaking straw and won re-election. But the state House ultimately overturned this result based on the fact that Eaton was pushed over the top by provisional ballots — even though these ballots were lawfully cast — and seated Tullos instead, giving Republicans a supermajority.