Canvassing Board Orders Retabulation of All Early Votes in Allen West Race
RE: The Blaze
The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board has ordered the retabulation of all early votes in the highly contested congressional race between Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and Democrat Patrick Murphy, according to Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a volunteer lawyer for the West campaign. The board voted 2-1 in favor of recounting the votes.
“This retabulation of all early votes as the Supervisor of Elections originally planned is a victory for democracy,” Shapiro told TheBlaze. “This restores some level of trust and public confidence in the system…it was the right thing to do.”
Election officials will begin retabulating the roughly 20,000 additional early votes cast in St. Lucie County at 9 a.m. on Saturday, he said.
West needs to gain just 249 votes in those 20,000 ballots to trigger a statutory recount under state law, Shapiro told TheBlaze. West gained 535 votes in the initial recount of 16,275 ballots. Both candidates combined lost 800 votes, however, 80 percent of the decrease was owned by Murphy.
Before the canvassing board voted, state Division of Elections official David Drury made a “personal” recommendation that all early votes in the county be retabulated after officials realized there were 304 early voting ballots that were never counted. There was also reportedly a missing “communications log.”
A circuit judge dealt the West campaign a blow earlier on Friday after he ruled he didn’t have the authority to order a county-wide recount of early votes.
The Murphy campaign has vowed to go to court in order to prevent a recount of all early voting ballots in St. Lucie County.
“If the canvassing board were to decide that they want to do that without any evidentiary basis to do so, we’ll be back before your honor with a motion for injunctive relief against them doing it because under the law the statute that we cited for your honor they have absolutely no right to do it,” Murphy attorney Gerald Richman said in court on Friday.