November 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm
Democrat Patrick Murphy was expected to be certified the winner of the 18th Congressional district race on Tuesday, his campaign said, after the state Elections Canvassing Committee certified the election results of this and other races in Florida.
On Sunday, Murphy was projected to be the winner of one of the most expensive and and most-watched Congressional races in the country after a retabulation of early votes in St. Lucie County widened his lead over U.S. Rep. Allen West.
“We have been declared the winner three times now,” Murphy said. “A lot of the votes have been counted three times so the voters should be very comfortable that the results of this election are good.”
The Murphy campaign declared him Congressman-elect after the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board missed a Noon deadline to certify its results to the state Division of Elections.
Earlier, unofficial certified results reported to the state stand under Florida law, the campaign said.
Murphy said neither the West campaign or the incumbent Republican had reached out to him.
“Despite everything there has been no sign of that yet,” Murphy said. “My focus is getting to work … we have so many problems in our country right now [that] we can’t be distracted with all [of] this. We have to focus on the solutions at hand and not all these conspiracy theories.”
It appeared late Monday that West had few options available to him yet.
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a volunteer attorney who last week filed a petition with Secretary of State Ken Detzner to investigate the election and order a district-wide recount, said West could contest the election, but did not know if he would.
“Where we are are at right now is a period of reflection, reassessment and reconsideration,” he said. ” We have to look at some of the numbers that came out of St. Lucie. We’ve had some problems there in terms of accuracy, so even though they finally came through in terms of having this retabulation for all eight days of the early votes, we need to look at the data and make sure the data is accurate.”
Last week, after a partial recount of ballots cast during the final three days of early voting in St. Lucie County, Murphy led West by 1,907 votes or a margin of more than 0.5% — more than what would trigger an automatic recount.
After the weekend retabulation, Murphy led West by about 2,100 votes, the Murphy campaign said.
On Friday, the Canvassing Board agreed to retabulate all eight days of early voting after it discovered more than 300 ballots had not been counted.
“The American mentality has to change,” Shapiro said. “We have to stop viewing elections like we do the Super Bowl. This isn’t a recreational activity where once the polls close at seven o’clock we get an answer by ten and everybody can go on to their victory party and collect bets. I think that everybody has to realize that supervisors of election need time — and should have time — to methodically, slowly count votes and make sure that they are being counted accurately.”
A campaign spokesperson said the earliest West would make a decision about what to do next was Tuesday.