After a judge denied U.S. Rep. Allen West‘s request for a recount Friday, the Florida Division of Elections on Friday stepped in to recommend that the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board recount all eight days of early voting — 37,379 ballots.
But at least 304 ballots from the early vote totals may be missing, a state elections official told the Palm Beach Post.
A lawyer for St. Lucie Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker told the Post that the missing ballots are believed to be in a box in her office. But Walker is ill and has been undergoing tests at the hospital, the lawyer said.
Meanwhile, the count of overseas ballots in Congressional District 18’s three counties of Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin gave Democrat Patrick Murphy a net of two votes.
West won 34 overseas votes to Murphy’s 29 in Palm Beach County, 5 to Murphy’s 3 in Martin and 11 to Murphy’s 20 in St. Lucie.
Earlier Friday, a St. Lucie County judge ruled against West's request for a recount of all early votes cast in his district, denying the one-term Republican's latest cry for a do-over in the election he officially lost last week.
West, a leading tea party conservative, filed legal complaints even before his loss was certified Saturday. He alleged foul play from Walker - a Democrat - in particular.
West has not yet conceded. West trails Murphy, who declared victory last week and is in Washington for freshman orientation, by 1,900 votes - outside the margin for an automatic recount, the Associated Press reported.
West's campaign said in a statement Friday that while it respects "the court's decision," members of the campaign "remain concerned the voters in St. Lucie County will not be able to have confidence in the integrity of the electoral process and their right to a fair election, and will continue pursue all legal options to ensure they do."
Murphy's office also released a statement: "Once again, Congressman Allen West's political stunts have been dismissed by the courts. Instead of admitting defeat, Allen West wants to keep counting votes until he gets the outcome he desires.
"That's not how elections work and that is not how the law works. Patrick is ready to put the campaign behind him and move forward with addressing the challenges facing the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches, first and foremost of which is getting Florida back to work," the statement said, according to CBS News Miami.
Another of West's complaints, regarding absentee ballots, is still pending, the Palm Beach Post reports.
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