Allen West campaign to make its recount argument in court todayby George Bennett | November 16th, 2012
Attorneys for Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West‘s campaign today will ask a judge for a recount of all 37,379 ballots cast during early voting in St. Lucie County in West’s tight re-election race against apparent Democratic victor Patrick Murphy.
Arguments before St. Lucie County Circuit Judge Dan Vaughn begin at 1 p.m. in Fort Pierce. Follow postonpolitics.com, palmbeachpost.com and twitter.com/gbennettpost for updates.
While waging its court fight, the West legal team also sent a letter late Thursday to Secretary of State Ken Detzner outlining what it says are other inconsistencies in St. Lucie County’s vote totals and arguing that “serious doubt exists as to the accuracy of the vote count so far reported by St. Lucie County.”
Detzner has sent three representatives to Fort Pierce to monitor the St. Lucie County elections office and make recommendations.
Unofficial returns show Murphy edging West by 1,907 votes or 0.58 percent in congressional District 18, which includes St. Lucie, Martin and northern Palm Beach counties.
West has not conceded, citing problems with the early vote tally in St. Lucie County, where Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker has acknowledged her office double-counted some ballots and ignored others on election night.
Walker says the problem was limited to ballots cast on the last three days of early voting. She says a partial recount of those ballots Sunday — in which 799 votes disappeared from the West-Murphy race and 448 new votes were discovered in the Fort Pierce mayor’s race — fixed the problems and no additional recounts are needed.
The West campaign says the irregularities that came to light in the partial recount of early votes justify a full recount of all the early ballots. West’s motion asks Vaughn to order a full recount and bar the county from certifying its results until such a recount is complete.
Counties must file certified results with the state by noon Sunday. The state’s Elections Canvassing Commission gives final certification to all results Tuesday.