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NEW DISTRICT, NEW CONGRESSMAN?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 12, 2012) — Rep. Allen West has been declared the loser in his re-election bid for Congress against challenger Patrick Murphy.
A partial recount of votes cast between November 1 and 3 which were subject to a memory card problem indicate that West gained “a few hundred votes.”
West’s campaign is seeking to inspect voter signatures in St. Lucie County as compared to the number of votes counted in Tuesday’s election. It was reported that West had been ahead of Murphy by about 2,000 votes but that a sudden change occurred which showed Murphy leading by 2,400 votes “35 minutes late.”
St. Lucie County elections officials appear to have admitted that some votes were counted twice. West is also citing the reported 141% of registered voters in the county as having cast a vote. Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker appeared to explain percentages in excess of 100% as a result of each voter having received “a two page ballot.” However, she originally said she did not know why percentages of registered voters exceeded 100. Her statement appearing today contains an additional sentence from that which was posted previously.
On Sunday, Walker said, in explanation of percentages exceeding 100%:
Turnout percentages will show over 100% due to a two page ballot. Not all voters voted the second card containing the amendments.
On Monday, Walker is stating:
Turnout percentages will show over 100% due to a two page ballot. The tabulation system (GEMS) provides voter turnout as equal to the total cards cast in the election divided by the number of registered voters. Also note that some voters chose not to return by mail the second card containing the amendments.
Walker’s message to voters reads, in part:
Freedom is not free. It comes with a price, but one that every American citizen can easily afford – their vote. Each and every election in our community gives us another chance to invest in freedom. Events in our country in recent times have underscored the importance of freedom and the value of every vote. As Americans we have a tremendous responsibility in preserving democracy. Now more than ever, elected officials are called upon to ensure that voting is indeed still the ticket to our freedom.
As caretakers of the voting process in St. Lucie County, my staff and I take tremendous pride in our efforts to reassure our citizens that every eligible person will not miss their chance to exercise their unalienable right to vote and to have their vote accurately counted, to ensure that polls and voting equipment are accessible to all and that procedures for voting are easy to understand and that every citizen is informed about voting. Since the 2000 Election, the legislature passed the Election Reform Act of 2001 mandating that elections in every county in Florida are conducted using the same standards and procedures to protect the rights of every voter. enacting safeguards such that:
- every voter leaves the precinct knowing that his vote has been counted
- if a mistake is made, he is notified and is allowed up to two replacements to correct his ballot before leaving the precinct
- if a voter’s eligibility is questioned at the polls, he has a right to vote a Provisional ballot in the precinct in which he lives
Walker is “a Democrat” serving her ninth term as Elections Supervisor and has been working for the elections office since she was 18.
There is evidence that software programs can be written to “rig an election.”
Correction: West’s website states that he represents the 22nd district of Florida, not the 18th, as The Post & Email had previously reported. However, Murphy refers to the district as the 18th. Ballotpedia states that Murphy ran in both the 18th and 22nd Districts. Redistricting occurred after the 2010 census.