I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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What would a reality-based elections contest cost?

In a prior post, I explained what I thought could be the basis of an election law contest, and concluded that McDaniel would need roughly 6400 affidavits (leaving almost no margin of error) from people who voted in the run-off that said, at a minimum, “I voted in the run-off and do not intend to vote for the nominee of the party in the general.”  Of course, they would have to be from people who actually voted.  If you got that, what you’d get is…

drum roll…

A redo!  But if your affidavit said (for all 6400!) “I voted for Thad Cochran,” a harder affidavit to get, you might get McDaniel declared the winner.

So what would this task cost?  And, given that the national Tea folk have conceded and gone home, is that money likely to come from anywhere?  Here’s some guestimates on my part:

With all the national Tea-people conceding, I don’t see how McD finances a legal fight that requires 6K+ affidavits.

if you have to talk to 10 people (remember, they aren’t your friends) to get one affidavit, that’s 60k.  Your crew needs to be ready to get the affidavit the moment they find a willing signor, which means mobile printer and Mississippi notary.  You need a good updated poll list that shows accurately who voted yesterday.

If you say, “talk to 3 people an hour,” just getting the affidavits is 20K hours.  That’s pretty high level of contact.  Have to do it in a very few weeks (no deadline for contests! must be in a reasonable time.  Can’t start “GO” until after the committees meet, so you probably realistically have 4 weeks maybe 6.  So say six).  3.3K hours a week.  over 400 a day.  At 10 hours a day, you only need 40 crews.  Of two people.  With vehicles and support.  Just to get the affidavits.  Working full time for 6 weeks.

So you only need, what, $5M just to get the affidavits?  And a crew of 80 with coordinators from somewhere?  Maybe some volunteers would cut the price some, but…

Of course, there’s an alternative strategy of going into court and arguing that what the founding fathers said in the Constitution means you win, because the Bible says voters can’t crossover vote, all according to the voices buzzing in your head.  Wait, what judge?  You’re saying that, like education, the Constitution doesn’t mention political parties?

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