Rep. Allen West’s re-election campaign has filed a complaint in the 19th Judicial Circuit Court seeking a full recount of early ballots in the race for Florida’s 18th Congressional District.
“The West campaign is simply seeking the truth, and an accurate count of votes,” read a statement released on Wednesday. “Given the inconsistencies emanating from the Supervisor’s office, we have no confidence in any of the information regarding the votes counted or the election results overall.”
Democratic candidate Patrick Murphy declared victory over the weekend after the state of Florida released completed vote tallies showing he had a nearly 2,000 vote lead over West. However, West has refused to concede the race, claiming there were numerous inconsistencies with early voting totals in St. Lucie County.
The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board on Sunday recounted three days worth of early voting due to a machine malfunction.
The partial recount led to Murphy losing 667 votes and West losing 132 votes, a net gain for the Republican congressman. But Murphy’s margin of victory was still too high to trigger an automatic recount under Florida law.
“This limited, partial re-feed – not conducted pursuant to any statute – uncovered significant errors in the initial tabulation of votes,” West’s campaign said in a statement. “Nearly 1,000 votes disappeared from the count, and neither the Canvassing Board nor the Supervisor provided any explanation for this selective recount.”
West’s campaign added that a full recount of early votes would likely uncover additional errors that would affect the final tabulation of votes.
“The erroneous decision of St. Lucie County to ‘re-feed’ only some of the early votes cast in this election violates the Florida Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection to voters,” West’s campaign alleged.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner on Tuesday sent three auditors to St. Lucie County to investigate the irregularities.
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