by Javier Manjarres
Stuart, FL – Congressman Allen West, along with eight other named plaintiffs who were early voters in St. Lucie County in Florida filed a complaint today in the Circuit Court in St. Lucie County requesting 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. The complaint also requested that the Defendants refrain from certifying results of the election for the 18th Congressional District until all ballots cast during the early voting period have been counted.
The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board met on Sunday for the stated purpose of recounting “all ballots cast during early voting.” This “refeed” was not conducted pursuant to Florida’s automatic recount statute but rather as part of the canvassing process. The Canvassing Board however re-fed only ballots cast on three days during the early voting period. This limited, partial re-feed- not conducted pursuant to any statute- uncovered significant errors in the initial tabulation of votes.
Nearly 1,000 votes disappeared from the count, and neither the Canvassing Board nor the Supervisor provided any explanation for this selective recount. Despite publicly announcing a hearing for the purposes of re-feeding all early votes, counsel for the Canvassing Board publicly advised that “Tallahassee” recommended counting only those specific three days – all without providing information as to who advised a selective re-feed or what the basis was for doing so.
It stands to reason that if the remaining early votes were to be recounted, additional errors would be uncovered and the tabulation of votes revised accordingly. Until these remaining early ballots are recounted, however, the Canvassing Board has arbitrarily applied differing counting standards to similarly situated ballots. The erroneous decision of St. Lucie County to “re-feed” only some of the early votes cast in this election violates the Florida Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection to voters.
In addition, St. Lucie County has also violated both the Florida Open Meeting Law, Florida Sunshine Law and the Florida Constitution by meeting behind closed doors and without providing the required notice to the public.
WPBF Channel 25 reported live from the Supervisor of Elections this evening and took note of the confusion and chaos that occurred as they tallied up the votes on Election Night-
The facts are beginning to emerge about Election Night in St. Lucie County: “They’re painting a very chaotic scene, we’ve heard that before, but we’re learning more details about the chaos. She said they had trouble with 5 disks that they couldn’t upload the information. It’s not that they weren’t uploadable, they were actually blank, so what they did on election night, they got the ballots out, they got the ballot reader out and started stuffing 26,000 ballots into the reader to try to make sure they got some results out in an expedient manner. “
This one’s not over by a long shot.
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