The Palm Beach Post reported that the St. Lucie County canvassing board somehow missed the noon deadline, today to file election results to the Division of Elections, prompting the Murphy Campaign to declare Murphy the winner in the Congressional race for FL Dist 18.
Under Florida law, the final certified results were due from all of the state’s 67 supervisors of elections today. If the results do not arrive on time, the certified unofficial results submitted last Sunday stand. Those results have Murphy winning by 0.58 percent. A spread of less than 0.5 percent would have triggered an automatic recount.
Although results have not been certified, final numbers released by the canvassing board today show West with 52,704 votes in St. Lucie County and Murphy with 65,841. These tallies, added the final results from Martin and Palm Beach counties give Murphy the win with 50.16 percent of the vote to West’s 49.51 – a spread of .65 percent.
“Today at noon, it became clear Patrick Murphy will be officially certified as the next congressman from the 18th Congressional District,” Anthony Kusich, Murphy for Congressman campaign manager, said in a prepared statement issued around 12:40 p.m. “The voters have spoken and Patrick Murphy is once again the clear winner. It is beyond time to put this campaign behind us and put the interests of the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches first.”
Said attorney Gerald Richman, a member of Murphy’s legal team: “All Patrick Murphy wanted was to follow the law. They absolutely missed it (deadline). Whatever it is, it is. We just want the law to be followed.”
But Murphy’s lawyers had attempted, yesterday, to get the 19th Circuit Court Judge to disallow the retabulation of early votes agreed to by the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board and West for Congress campaign manager Tim Edson released the following statement:
“In a last-ditch effort to suppress the vote, Murphy’s lawyers submitted sloppy and incomplete papers to the Court this morning to try to strong-arm the judge into preventing today’s retabulation already underway. The Murphy team’s motion is procedurally and substantively lacking. With every action attempted, Murphy demonstrates a complete lack of respect and utter disregard for the voters of St. Lucie County.
Murphy’s efforts bring to mind the dark times in our nation’s history when politicians tried to manipulate the law to suppress the votes, and we are appalled by Murphy’s apparent contempt for the voting rights of citizens to have their ballots accurately and fairly tabulated.
Murphy knows there are votes that have not been counted, but he’s taking legal action to ensure the results are certified anyway. Perhaps the Justice Department should investigate Murphy’s attempt to steal himself a seat in Congress at the expense of the voters in St. Lucie County.”
After today’s missed deadline, the Palm Beach Post reportsed that Tim Edson wants the Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Gov. Rick Scott to sort out the mess.
Edson said other problems arose this morning. The recount showed 900 voters cast ballots in precinct 93, where there are 7 registered voters, Edson said.
In a prepared statement released around 2 p.m. this afternoon, Edson said: “Today’s actions cast an even greater cloud of suspicion over the results of St. Lucie County than existed before. Consequently, the highly suspect results will be submitted to the Secretary of State today — even though the canvassing board has already admitted they may contain serious errors.
West supporters, upon learning that the deadline was missed, have crowded into the ballot-counting area shouting “Count our vote!” Others have made public comments to elections officials, blaming them for ending the recount last night at 10 p.m. because the security system in the vacant shopping mall where the ballots are being counted would be triggered if the counting continued.
Video via BizPacReviewPolitics
Two of the three members of the canvassing board, County Judge Kathryn Nelson and Marc Traum, and County Attorney Heather Young have been sitting at a table in front of the agitated crowd, allowing those gathered to make their comments but saying nothing in response.
West campaign statement:
From @AllenWest campaign re news that recounters missed deadline: "... whether this was done intentionally or ...—
Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) November 18, 2012
More @AllenWest campaign statement: " ... it was just more negligence on ....it just adds to the suspicion.—
Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) November 18, 2012
Legal Insurrection: Allen West St. Lucie County recount results )(Update – Board misses deadline)
UPDATE 5:40 p.m. — Various news reports confirm that the partial recount (which was only of early votes in St. Lucie Co., a small percentage of the total vote) did give Murphy a slightly larger lead. But West’s campaign is not giving up, Allen West Camp to Contest ‘Suspect Result’ on ‘Behalf of all Voters in District 18’.