Source: Allen West Now Leads Initial Vote Count in One Fla. County

Madeleine Morgenstern
The Blaze
11/8/2012

Rep. Allen West is leading by more than 300 votes in Palm Beach County, Fla., a hopeful sign for the Tea Party favorite fighting for his political life after Tuesday’s election, a source told TheBlaze.

No winner has been declared in the congressional race between the Republican West and his Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy, though Murphy had a 2,456-vote lead in the unofficial vote total.

But a Republican observer who has been monitoring the counting process said West pulled ahead in Palm Beach County on Thursday as the initial count continues. Ballot printing errors led to ballots that could not be fed through scanners in some areas, so Florida election workers have been forced to reproduce their contents onto new ballots that can be read properly, the observer said. As the votes are counted for the first time, West has taken a slim lead.

It’s a separate issue from what’s happening in St. Lucie County, where West has demanded a recount over “disturbing irregularities.” He filed a motion Wednesday to have paper ballots counted and to impound voting machines and all paper ballots cast, WFOR-TV reported.

The observer called St. Lucie County more Republican in makeup while Palm Beach County is a mix but overall Democratic.

“The fact that he is ahead, period, even in this county is a good sign,” the observer said.

Freelance writer Charles C. Johnson contributed to this report.

Related: The Right Scoop has audio: Allen West weighs in on battle to get recount underway

Allen West says that not only did they recount votes that had already been counted in St. Lucie county that put him behind his opponent, but they did it behind closed doors. He adds that there were also violations of Florida state law and that people should answer for it and that his campaign intends to ensure this was a fair election for their constituents.

The good news is that he’s already gained 300 or so votes due to absentee ballots which are still being counted and that puts them closer to a mandatory recount.

Update: Long lines, long count once again raise questions about Florida’s election process

Update 2Elections supervisor calls police to kick elderly Allen West observer out 

Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher called a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy to the Riviera Beach vote tabulation center Thursday to escort an older volunteer for congressional candidate Allen West off the premises.

Bucher asked Norman Gavin to leave after he complained that he could not see the ballots or hear the conversation between two elections workers handling them. He insisted he had to get closer.

Bucher said the volunteer “did not respect the boundaries” she set because he was trying to get closer to the tabulation table to see and hear better, and would not back off when asked to do so.

Complaints poured in all day from observers who said workers handling the ballots were shutting them out…

 

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