West-Murphy drama continues as St. Lucie County schedules recount of early votesby George Bennett | November 10th, 2012
Returns submitted to the state Division of Elections today show Democrat Patrick Murphy edging Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West by 2,442 votes or 0.74 percent — a big enough margin to avoid an automatic recount under state law.
But the counting isn’t completely finished.
St. Lucie County’s elections canvassing board has scheduled an emergency meeting for 7 a.m. Sunday to recount all the early votes cast in the county. Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker on Wednesday estimated there were about 37,000 early votes.
West has not conceded and has raised questions about the early vote tally after some electronic memory cards storing early ballots could not initially be counted Tuesday night. The ballots were counted later in the evening and turned a narrow West lead into a small Murphy advantage.
West’s campaign, which has been sharply critical of Walker’s office, said tonight that the Sunday recount “should help shed light on the situation of this election. This is the action we were seeking to ensure the results of this election were fair and accurate.”
The West campaign also wants to review voter sign-in sheets from the election and compare them to the number of ballots cast.
“While we still look forward to reviewing the poll books used to check in voters during early voting and Election Day, this recount goes a long way to ensuring an accurate outcome,” according to the statement from the West campaign.