Update 11:19 p.m.: The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board has ordered a recount of all early votes in that county, beginning Saturday morning. The ruling is a victory for West, but overcoming his current 1,900-vote deficit will still be difficult.
A Florida judge on Friday denied Rep. Allen West’s (R-Fla.) request to recount early votes in St. Lucie County, dealing another setback to the congressman’s effort to overcome an apparent defeat in last Tuesday’s election.
West had requested the recounting of 37,000 ballots from early voting, suggesting that they may have been miscounted. The judge said he did not have the authority to order the recount, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The county’s canvassing board was set to meet at 4 p.m., at which time it will also rule on West’s request. The board previously recounted early votes from three of the eight days in which voters could cast early ballots, but opted not to recount all of them.
About 799 previously counted votes didn’t show up in the recount — something West’s lawyers say is evidence of more widespread irregularities.
The final tally in Florida’s 18th district shows West trailing Democrat Patrick Murphy by nearly 2,000 votes — a margin outside the half-percent threshold for an automatic recount.