Again this smells incredibly fishy. The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board had until noon today to certify the retabulation results. According to those I’m following, all votes were counted but one card wouldn’t upload results. The Palm Beach Post reports the following:
Campaign officials for Patrick Murphy, Democrat candidate for the congressional district 18 race, are calling their candidate the winner because the St. Lucie Canvassing Board has missed the noon deadline to certify results to the state Division of Elections.
Under Florida law, if the deadline passes with final certified results, the unofficial certified results filed last Sunday stand. Those results show Murphy ahead by .58 percent – above the .5 percent spread which would trigger an automatic recount.
Attorneys for Allen West have been dispatched to the St. Lucie County courthouse for request an emergency hearing on the noon deadline the St. Lucie County canvassing board missed to certify results.
This is a breaking news story and I will keep you updated. Please stay tuned to this post.
UPDATE: Here is the latest from the Palm Beach Post:
The St. Lucie County canvassing board has missed a noon deadline to file election results to the Division of Elections, prompting campaign officials for Patrick Murphy to declare the political newcomer the winner in the race for congressional District 18 race.
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.“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.”
“All Patrick Murphy wanted was to follow the law,” said attorney Gerald Richman, a member of Murphy’s legal team. “They absolutely missed it (deadline). Whatever it is, it is. We just want the law to be followed.”
Tim Edson, [West’s] campaign manager, disagreed.
“As usual, Murphy’s people are full of garbage,” Edson said. “This is something the secretary of state and governor will have to sort out.”
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.
“We have concerns here,” Edson said. “The results are raising more questions.”
Shortly after the deadline passed, attorneys for West headed to the St. Lucie County Courthouse to request an emergency hearing on the issue. It is not known if a hearing has been scheduled.
UPDATE 2: The Palm Beach Post continues to update their article. Here is the latest update:
West supporters, upon learning that the deadline was missed, have crowded into the ballot-counting area shouting “Count our vote!” Others have heckled 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.
This is true. Reportedly ln election night this security system wasn’t a problem. But all of a sudden it became an excuse not to stay and finish last night. Just ridiculous.
UPDATE 3: Gary Angelo Galiano, one of the patriots on the ground said this bad card could have been fixed last night if they would have stayed:
It took one and a half hours today once they got started to do what they could’ve done last night and if it’s true the memory card failed it could’ve been fixed last night!!!!!
UPDATE 4: Apparently there is still hope, as Florida Law allows an exemption to the deadline in case of an emergency (via Palm Beach Post update)
Florida law does allow an exemption to the deadline in an emergency and West’s attorney are expected to argue that the exemption applies.
That exemption defines emergency as “any occurrence, or threat thereof, whether accidental, natural, or caused by human beings, in war or in peace, that results or may result in substantial injury or harm to the population or substantial damage to or loss of property to the extent it will prohibit an election officer’s ability to conduct a safe and orderly election.”
UPDATE 5: Palm Beach Post latest update shows that despite preliminary results and the fact that State Board of Election shows Murphy as winner, West isn’t conceding race:
Preliminary numbers released around 2 p.m. by the canvassing board show West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, with 52,704 votes in St. Lucie County and Murphy with 65,841. The state Division of Elections website this afternoon lists Murphy the winner with 50.28 to West’s 49.7 — a spread of 0.58 percent — when the St. Lucie totals are added to those of Martin County and the parts of Palm Beach County that are within District 18.
West’s camp, however, said it has no intention of conceding and that Gov. Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner “will have to take a look at these recounts,” West campaign manager Tim Edson said.
Edson said other problems arose this morning, when the recount resumed at 8 a.m. 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.
“Once again, Gertrude Walker has proven to be absolutely incapable of executing an accurate and fair election. This election is far from over. We will continue to fight on behalf of all voters in District 18 to ensure a fair and accurate count of their votes.”