Senate candidate Wayne Lennep will not contest election, calls for election reform

Senate candidate Wayne Lennep will not contest election, calls for election reform
Wayne Lennep said he will not contest the election results but will continue to fight for election reform. (Source: Facebook/Wayne Lennep for MS Senate District 51)

JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - State Senate candidate Wayne Lennep, who ran against Senator-elect Jeremy England in Jackson County’s District 51 race, will not challenge the election results, he announced Tuesday.

England inched ahead in August’s general primary with 38 votes. Lennep, at the time, said he would not concede just yet because he wanted to speak with trusted advisers and review election data after hearing from multiple voters who reported issues.

Jeremy England, pictured left, inched ahead in the District 51 State Senate race, beating Moss Point alderman Wayne Lennep by 38 votes.
Jeremy England, pictured left, inched ahead in the District 51 State Senate race, beating Moss Point alderman Wayne Lennep by 38 votes.

Lennep said this week that he has done that and decided not to contest the election results. However, he said he will push for changes to be made that ensure errors like the ones reported are not seen again.

“There were problems in the primary election similar to those experienced in our neighboring senate district 50 where voters received the incorrect ballots,” Lennep said in a Facebook post. “The biggest problems seemed to have been that some who lived outside of district 51 were allowed to vote in the district 51 primary election. Even though many of these errors were corrected for the runoff, this caused much confusion and frustration among voters. Even in the runoff, we received reports of some voters receiving incorrect ballots.”

The District 50 issues Lennep referred to were in the Senate race between Dixie Newman and Scott Delano, where Newman was declared the winner by an one-vote lead. Delano challenged those results, saying some voters received the wrong ballots. Delano filed a petition on Sept. 6 asking a court to determine whether a special election should be held to decide the District 50 winner.

Lennep, who also serves as a Moss Point alderman, said he heard of similar issues from voters in Jackson County.

"The problems are mainly in split precincts— where voters from different districts vote at the same polling place but are supposed to receive different ballots," said Lennep.

Lennep said he will working to prevent issues like this from occurring in the future.

"I intend to push for reforms to prevent such errors in the future. One solution may be to simply do away with split precincts," stated Lennep. "I hope our election officials will take a hard look at this."

Wishing Senator-elect England good luck on his term, Lennep said the citizens of Jackson County are still his priority and will remain so.

To read Lennep’s post in full, click HERE.

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