Allen West Wins Round in Recount Battle

Florida election officials agreed late Friday to recount a batch of early ballots that he asked to have re-examined. 

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Rep. Allen West (Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Politico reports that Florida Rep. Allen West scored a legal win late Friday, after election officials agreed to recount a group of early ballots that the rabble-rousing Republican congressman has pushed to have re-examined.

The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections announced it would begin re-tallying all votes that were cast between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. The office will begin re-tabulating at 9 a.m. Saturday.

West has argued that those votes had been accidentally double counted on election night and provided a winning margin to his Democratic opponent, 29-year-old construction company executive Patrick Murphy. Murphy’s lead of nearly 2,000 votes is just outside the 0.5 percent margin that would trigger an automatic district-wide recount under Florida law. 

The decision capped a day of dramatic legal maneuverings, which began Friday afternoon when a judge turned down a request by West to prevent St. Lucie County, one of three counties in the 18th Congressional District, from certifying its election results. The battle then moved to the election office’s canvassing board, which convened hours later to determine whether to re-tabulate the votes in question.

While lawyers for West argued that questions surrounding the counting of ballots on election night necessitated a re-checking, Murphy’s team, which has declared victory in the race and is looking to defend its lead, insisted there was no legal cause to conduct a re-tally.

Read more at Politico.

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