Election officials in St. Lucie County will recount early votes cast in the hotly contested race for Florida's 18th district's House seat between TEA Party favorite Rep. Allen West and his challenger, Democrat Patrick Murphy.
The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board announced late Saturday it had set an “emergency meeting” to start at 7am Sunday at its headquarters, to “recount all ballots cast during early voting.” The number of early ballots is estimated by officials to be roughly 37,000.
West, who has refused to concede the race, is currently trailing Murphy by 2,442 votes, according to the latest results from Florida Division of Elections. On its website, the agency says West has garnered 164,448 votes to Murphy’s 166,890.
"There are possible irregularities in St. Lucie County," claims Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a Florida lawyer volunteering for the West campaign who has been quoted on the issue. "On Sunday we'll have a chance to recount the early votes and that's a good start to preserving the integrity of the democratic process."
West's campaign said in a Saturday statement it was pleased with the news of the partial recount...West's campaign had said earlier Saturday that issues with the voting in St. Lucie County meant the race was still undecided.
"Late on Election Night, Congressman West led by 1,700 votes," West for Congress said in a statement. "Following the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections’ decision to recount thousands of early ballots after a technical glitch, the margin shifted by 4,000. In order to ensure that votes were not double counted, we have requested that the St. Lucie Supervisor of Elections make public the poll check-in books to ensure the numbers of ballots cast matches the numbers of voters checked-in at the polls."
The state tally is complete but still unofficial. There are still a handful of overseas and military ballots outstanding.
But under Florida law, recounts are based on Saturday's results. Democrat challenger Patrick Murphy won enough votes to avoid an automatic recount...
Even if the results of the partial recount do not change the race, West still has the option to contest the election if misconduct or fraud might have changed its result.
A judge on Friday denied West’s request to impound ballots and voting machines. The state tally in the Florida’s redrawn 18th congressional district follows additional vote counting in Palm Beach County.
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Editor's Note: If Progressives and Democrats want every vote counted (as they so viciously declared during the 2000 and 2004 elections) then they should give wide latitude to Mr. West...
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