West Challenges Election Results; Democrats Raise Cash to Fight Him

Friday, 09 Nov 2012 11:13 AM

By Stephen Feller

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Democratic friends of Patrick Murphy, who maintains a lead in his congressional race against Florida Republican Rep. Allen West, are raising money to help fight a potential recount that could flip what appears to be a Murphy victory.

No winner has been declared in the race as provisional and absentee ballots have not been fully counted, and Murphy’s lead has decreased as those votes have been factored into totals.

Newly elected Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel sent out a fundraising email on Friday to help Murphy fight off a lawsuit filed Wednesday by West and in advance of what she thinks will be a protracted legal battle.

“[West] is refusing to concede his loss to my friend Patrick Murphy,” Frankel wrote. “West has over $2 million in the bank, has hired a massive legal team and has already filed two lawsuits. Allen West has told his supporters there is ‘no rush’ and that means he plans to tie Patrick up with lengthy and expensive legal battles. Patrick threw everything he had into winning and now needs urgent resources.”

Despite a winner not being declared, Murphy is already embarking on a “Thank You Tour” around the 18th Congressional District.

According to WPTV, Murphy received 160,328 votes to West’s 157,872. The percentage difference in their vote totals, 0.8 percent in Murphy’s favor, is not enough to require an automatic recount by the state, which is triggered by a 0.5 percent or smaller difference in votes.

The difference between their vote totals, 2,456, has shrunk by about 400 as provisional and absentee ballots have been counted, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Wednesday, West filed suits against the supervisors of elections in Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties to hold ballots and voting machines aside so that the votes they recorded can accurately be recounted, reported WPTV.

In a press release early Wednesday morning, West suggested there were problems with the vote and that he would do everything to ensure a fair count — regardless of result — would be conducted.

“There were numerous other disturbing irregularities reported at polls across St. Lucie County, including the doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed, in direct violation of Florida law,” West’s campaign manager Tim Edson wrote in the release.
 
“The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor's office last night could only be described as complete chaos,” Edson said. “We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary."

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