Skip to comments.West-Murphy race hangs in balance as St. Lucie County prepares to retabulate all early votes
Posted on 11/17/2012 7:45:01 AM PST by smoothsailing
November 17, 2012
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - About 100 people milled around Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker's office Saturday morning while workers set up batteries of machines to recount eight days of early voting ballots that could effect the tight District 18 congressional race between Patrick Murphy and Allen West.
As of 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, the recount had not begun. Five Sheriff's patrol cars were parked at the entrance to the building on Okeechobee Road, where security was tight.
Saturday morning, Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker was nowhere to be seen. Friday night it was reported she had been taken to a hospital.
The decision to recount the ballots came after a state elections auditor on Friday found a box of 306 early ballots that never were counted.
The decision came hours after a St. Lucie County judge denied a request by U.S. Rep. Allen West for a full recount of early votes in the race for the 18th Congressional district.
The recount of every early vote cast for every race was expected to begin on Saturday morning and would include the three days of early voting that were retabulated earlier this week.
Tod Mowery, a member of the Canvassing Board, said the ballots -- which were found in a box -- had not been counted.
"We are pleased the Canvassing Board has done the right thing for the voters of St Lucie County by agreeing to a retabulation of early votes," said West. "All we have been fighting for since the very beginning is to ensure the citizens of this county have their votes accurately and fairly counted."
Earlier on Friday, attorneys for West argued that discrepancies in vote totals and reported equipment malfunctions warranted a recount to ensure the integrity of the race.
Attorneys for Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker and Patrick Murphy, the projected winner of the race, countered that Judge Dan Vaughn would have invited error and chaos if he had sided with West.
Vaughn said the elements for a temporary injunction had not been met.
West, the Tea Party favorite who appeared to be headed for defeat, has refused to concede.
After a partial recount of ballots cast during the final three days of early voting in St. Lucie County, Murphy, a Democrat, led West by 1,907 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.
Late Thursday, West's attorneys said they had discovered possible discrepancies in St. Lucie County after a review of early and absentee ballot information.
Nearly 1,000 votes may be in question, according to Tim Edson, Allen West for Congress campaign manager.
In a letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, attorneys said 110 early votes were cast in a precinct that didnt have enough early voters to support the number of votes cast.
Four hundred eighty-eight people cast early votes in precinct 28, they said, but election returns showed 499 early votes were counted.
Attorneys also raised concerns about 121 voters they said had returned absentee ballots but did not appear to have been assigned precinct.
Earlier, volunteer attorneys for West had petitioned Detzner to conduct a preliminary investigation into the election and for a machine recount in three counties. Attorneys Mark Young and Jeffrey Scott Shapiro said 809 votes disappeared when the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections retabulated the final three days of early votes on Sunday.
Young and Shapiro said the missing votes, which accounted for 3.2% of the retabulated votes, amounted to an irregularity.
After the retabulation, West received a net increase of 535 votes over Murphy.
On faith and belief, if this trend continues, for the remaining votes, the final outcome of the Congressional election could change, Yound and Shapiro said.
David Drury, a Florida Division of Elections bureau chief, arrived in St. Lucie County on Wednesday to begin an audit of how the countys canvassing board ran the election.
A spokesperson for Detzner said he expected Drury and two others from the states 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.
West has less than one week left to contest the election.
Here’s a prayer for west. If it turns out that he does win, I want him to sue on the grounds of racial discrimination.
Doesn’t most Dem voter fraud occur on election day when they bus in patients with Alzheimers, convicts, illegals, and dead people to vote?
Possibly, but here they did it in the dead of night.
Original count had West up by 2000.
Middle of the night old gertie decided to count again and wela! a 4000 vote shift.
Now gertie being a life long dem, black, etc now you wouldn’t think any thing wrong here now would you?
If you do you must be a racist.
But I voted in this district and I have NOOOOO confidence that my vote was recorded correctly.
They still have to hedge their thefts with old fashioned ballot box stuffing, double runs of favorable votes, no runs for unfavorable ones, and leaving or finding boxes of votes stuck away in closets.
Recount updates here:
Early voting gives them WAY more license to cheat.
Just think of all the nursing home patients, dead people etc. can be drummed up in multiple election days as opposed to a single election day.
Why aren't those ballots immediatly after the polls close, protected by the Sheriffs office, Nat'l Guard, someone. Escorted under lock and key, (one lock for the R's, one for the D's, by a R & a D along with the proection of the Sheriffs office or other.
IT is TIME.......
Why is it so damn difficult for there to be an accurate count of votes in this country??? Every 2 years it’s the same frickin mess!
There are so many ways to vote, it overwhelms the people who are totally unqualified to supervise or count them. Ballots are not so much complicated as they are loaded with every issue and office imagineable.
We should have a national election on one day and all of the other state and local crap on another day. That would mean, in the national election, each voter would have, at most 3 choices to make (depending on if it’s a non-Presidential election and if they have a senate seat to vote on). The ballots could be prepared and sent out earlier to allow a military and overseas personnel vote that counts. Since the time to vote would be drastically reduced, you would have to have a really good reason to absentee vote and the officials would have more time to verify residency. States could police the voter rolls easier to eliminate the snowbird voters. Voter registration could he easily handled right up to the day before the vote and there would longer be a need for provisional voting.
This past election, I did my homework, and was in and out before all the people, who were at the voting machines when I got to the front of the line, had voted.
I vote for a national election on one day and a state & local election on a separate day.
So 'ole Gertie came down with the vapors. How convenient.
Maybe she can get a bed at the Mayo Clinic next to Jesse Jackson, Jr.
When you allow early voting for 10 days you give the cheaters 10 days to cheat. If voting is just one day then they are forced to cram their cheating into one day.
In this day and age, counterfeit ballots more destructive to the nation than counterfeit currency.
Stop making sense, you’ll upset the Democrats.:-)
Makes on wonder. A nervous breakdown because of worry about the facts coming out?
on = one
They found a box of uncounted ballots in her office yesterday.
Thanks, but my computer hung up (not responding) when I tried that awhile ago. I will just trust someone to tell me what it says.
She’s counting on the sympathy vote when she shows up at her office in a wheel chair with blanky on her lap.