U.S. Rep. Allen West lost by 2,456 votes to Democrat Patrick Murphy, according to the tallies in Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties -- placing him outside the margin of a recount in District 18. But West is calling for a recount. Here is his statement from campaign manager Tim Edson:
"This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome. Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance. There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district. Late last night Congressman West maintained a district-wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections "recounted" thousands of early ballots. Following that "recount" Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes. In addition, there were numerous other disturbing irregularities reported at polls across St. Lucie County including the doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed, in direct violation of Florida law, thereby preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results. The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor's office last night could only be described as complete chaos. Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary."
State elections spokesman Chris Cate said: "If the percentage does not fit within the statutory criteria for recounts, there exists no statutory mechanism for a candidate, group or anyone else to have a recount done by the state or any supervisor of elections. Also, we will not know if a recount is within the required percentage until we receives the 1st set of unofficial returns from each of the counties involved. They are not due until noon, Saturday.