ST. PETERSBURG — Calling attention to one of the closest November congressional races nationwide, the Houston-based voter interity group True the Vote announced on Monday that it will be filing a lawuit to force an independent review of the election which cost Republican Allen West his seat.
The complaint, filed in the Southern District Court of Florida on Sunday, aims to completely review all records and recounts in the race for the 18th Congressional district between Democrat Patrick Murphy and West.
“This dramatic recount was an extraordinary example of how our elections can suffer systematic failure,” said True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht. “We run the risk seeing episodes like this becoming ordinary if citizens do not demand answers and hold election officials accountable. The American people own the voting system – we have the right to ask tough questions when we witness the failure of one of America’s core functions.”
True the Vote filed the lawsuit against Gertrude Walker, the supervisor of elections in St. Lucie County, who ordered a recount after key voting machines malfunctioned and early votes had to be hand counted.
It would be a week before Murphy was declared the winner by less than 2,000 votes, but uncertainties remained as election workers claimed to find hundreds of early votes which had not counted in the final tally.
West conceded the race on Nov. 20, nearly two weeks after Election Day, but not before filing his own lawsuit to force a recount.
“My clients are demanding that Walker immediately allow an in person public inspection of all records relating to the election in Florida’s 18th Congressional District between Allen West and Patrick Murphy,” said Michael Barnett, the Florida lawyer aiding TTV in their lawsuit.