St. Lucie County judge to hear Allen West’s request for early vote recount

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On Friday, a St. Lucie County judge will hear U.S. Rep. Allen West’s request to recount all of the early votes cast in the race for the 18th Congressional district.

West, the Tea Party favorite who appeared to be headed for defeat after Democrat Patrick Murphy was projected to win the race, has refused to concede.

In an interview with FLDemocracy and WPTV NewsChannel 5 in Washington, DC, West said the race remained undecided.

“We are within 249 votes of a mandatory recount,” he said. “All we are saying is do the right thing by the voters and do the full early vote recount because that is where the issue is.”

After a partial recount of ballots cast during the final three days of early voting in St. Lucie County, Murphy led West by about 1,900 votes or a margin of more than 0.5% — more than what would trigger an automatic recount.

“It stands to reason that if the remaining early votes were to be recounted, additional errors would be uncovered and the tabulation of votes revised accordingly,” Allen West for Congress said in a statement.

The campaign called the recount a “sham” and said all eight days of early voting in St. Lucie County should be have been recounted.

David Drury, a Florida Division of Elections bureau chief, arrived in St. Lucie County on Wednesday to begin an audit of how the county’s canvassing board ran the election.

A spokesperson for Secretary of State Ken Detzner said he expected Drury and two others from the state’s Bureau of Voting Systems Certification to remain in St. Lucie County through the weekend.

Last week, a Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge denied a request by West to impound voting machines and recount ballots.

Judge David Crow said the arguments West’s attorneys made during the hearing fell “woefully short” of what was necessary for him to issue an injunction.

Gerald Richman, an attorney for Murphy and a key figure in the 2000 presidential recount, called the hearing a “political stunt” and “unfounded.”

West has less than one week left to contest the election.

Via Alex Sanz of FLDemocracy2012.com.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.