In a press conference late Tuesday, St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker told reporters that her office had been working 12-14 hour days to correct errors in the race between freshman Congressman Allen West and newcomer Patrick Murphy.
“I’m going to continue until every vote is counted accurately,” stated Walker.
Walker’s message comes as Allen West and eight voters of St. Lucie County filed suit against her and the Canvassing Board seeking a recount of all early votes cast in the hotly contested race.
In St Lucie County Circuit Court case number #562012CA004319, West:
“asks the court to immediately issue a preliminary injunction ordering Defendant Gertrude Walker, as St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, and Defendant Dan Detzner, as Florida Secretary of State, to convene the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board for the purpose of counting all votes cast in the election for the 18th Congressional District during the early voting period, and ordering Defendants to refrain from certifying results of the election for the 18th Congressional District until all ballots cast during the early voting period have been counted.”
During the press conference, Walker indicated that she would welcome a recount.
“If the state orders a recount, me and the Canvassing Board would be very pleased to do that. That’s our job. We just don’t have the authority to order a recount ourselves.”
In attempting to defend the partial recount process earlier conducted, Walker indicated that the Canvassing Board only had the legal authority to re-tabulate votes from three days of early votes and not all eight days.
It was her contention that those three days were possibly incorrect as a result of tabulation machine memory card failures. As a result, Walker herself could order the partial recount.
“What the law requires is that the canvassing board correct the error,” Walker said. “If they are able to isolate where the error is, that’s what they were supposed to re-tabulate.”
Walker’s press conference followed a response to the Congressman’s initial lawsuit seeking a manual recount of all the ballots and an impounding of the voting machines.
In the response, Walker asked the court to deny the request, indicating that West’s motion is “procedurally and factually defective,” and that “the plaintiff has failed to allege, let alone prove, the elements required for injunctive relief.”
Despite problems from what she calls “too much haste” trying to get immediate election results, Walker stated that she is confident that the vote count is now accurate.
“It happened, it’s corrected, and we have the correct results right now,” she said.
“Rather than accept defeat like a true soldier and move on, Allen West is now attempting to circumvent the voting process by bringing suit,” stated long-time political consultant Barry Harris of Politically Direct. “While part of the Democratic process, I am confident that this strategy will send the one-term Congressman home from Washington. Just like the voters did.”