Better late than never: 13 days after he totally lost the Congressional District 4 Republican primary, TV personality Niger Innis has finally called winner Cresent Hardy to concede.
What took so long? What was surely an intensive, in-depth investigation by the Innis campaign into mysterious forces that saw also-ran Mike Monroe get 22.1 percent of the vote. That kind of Sherlock Holmes undertaking doesn’t happen in a day, or two or three. Apparently it takes 13 days.
Here’s the (actual) statement from the Innis campaign, in italics, with a few annotations from me, too.
After conducting what he termed ‘our own investigation’, Niger Innis today announced he has decided to not pursue a possible request of Secretary of State Ross Miller to look into the vote totals from the Primary Election on June 10th.
Since the deadline for asking for a recount has come and gone, and since the state may not even have been the proper venue to file a challenge to the election (given the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 5 provision that “each House shall be the judge of the elections, qualifications and returns of its own members…”) this is actually not as big a deal as this release might make it seem.
“For nearly two weeks, my team and I have done our own due diligence on the election results from the recent Republican Primary Election,” said Innis. “We maintained election night, and continue to do so today, that the vote total for Mike Monroe appeared highly unusual. For a relatively unknown to not campaign, not spend money nor to make any effort whatsoever to campaign, and then receive over 22 per cent of the vote, should make even the most experienced political observer question the process.”
There are plenty of reasons why this could be, which I’ve detailed in my Review-Journal column, if you’re interested.
Innis continued, “Secretary of State Miller and I had a very good conversation about my concerns. It was subsequently made clear that compiling the evidence of impropriety or the burden of proof lay with my campaign.”
In other words, Miller told him that vague, unsupported allegations or suspicions did not constitute “evidence,” and that he’d be responsible for finding evidence if he wanted to mount a challenge. This is otherwise known as “the American form of jurisprudence,” in which the burden of proof is nearly always on the party bringing the allegations to prove his case.
Innis stated that for several days, his campaign team has been talking and meeting with various rural county officials, Republican Party leaders and canvassing voters in its’ own investigation. There has been a general consensus in the rural counties that Monroe is an unknown candidate and Innis team found no evidence of support for Monroe. In Goldfield, which is in Esmeralda County where Monroe got more than 40 percent of the votes cast, Innis said his team could not find one person that cast a vote for Monroe. “Of the dozens of voter’s [sic] canvassed, most were not aware Monroe was on the ballot at all.” Innis asserted. But team Innis thought a thorough investigation of the calibration of the machines would prove to be an expensive, time consuming initiative.
And given that the machines are calibrated before the election anyway, it would also be a fruitless effort, since it would simply prove what the rest of the world realized had happened on June 10: Innis lost. But don’t tell him that!
“I had a hard decision to make,” Innis said. “Either keep the fight going to try to build evidence that the Monroe vote totals are inaccurate or accept the fact that Cresent Hardy is the winner and move forward, and stand behind him as the Republican candidate to take on the task of defeating [Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep.] Steven Horsford.”
Innis spoke with Cresent Hardy today and congratulated him on his win.
“As much as I’d like to continue, and I still believe in my heart that the vote tabulations are flawed, it’s time to move on.”
I could not agree more (with that last line). Here, let me help.