Nov 11, 2012 No Comments ›› Chuck Biscuits
Excerpted from Sunshine State News: As election officials in St. Lucie County began recounting only ballots filed in the final three days of Early Voting, the attorney for U.S. Rep. Allen West wasted little time calling the process a “sham.”
And that was before the partial recount lowered the lead of Democrat Patrick Murphy in the Congressional District 18 contest by 535 votes.
With another court challenge looming, West’s campaign manager Tim Edson told the Palm Beach Post on Sunday that they were expecting a recount of all eight days of early voting.
“What’s going on today is a sham,” Edson said told the Post. “It does nothing at all to address the concerns we had after being told yesterday they would be recounting all early votes.”
West has doggedly refused to concede the race, though he is currently trailing Murphy by 2,442 votes. The Florida Division of Elections website had Murphy’s vote total at 166,890 and West’s at 164,448.
By recounting just the final days of Early Voting, only 16,275 ballots were run through the tabulators at the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Office inside the former Orange Blossom Mall in Fort Pierce.
Edson, who claims being told the problems occurred in the first part of Early Voting, expected the county to review all 37,379 ballots because of a problem with tabulating machines reading memory cards.
The Post reported that Assistant County Attorney Heather Young claimed the reefed of ballots — agreed to by the county elections office — was to look at all votes cast in the days tabulating equipment had a problem reading memory cards.
An attorney for Murphy told the Post that West needs to “step aside.”
West has claimed possible irregularities in the county election process.
West for Congress has summarized the perceived problems:
“Late on Election Night, Congressman West led by 1,700 votes. 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 doubled-counted, we have requested that the St. Lucie supervisor of elections make public the poll check-in books to ensure the number of ballots cast matches the number of voters checked-in at the polls.”
The state tally is complete but still unofficial. With only a handful of overseas and military ballots outstanding, the state count is complete but unofficial. By law, Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy has won enough votes to avoid an automatic recount.