UPDATE 4: The SOE has closed down for the night with the hand count of the 304 found ballots unfinished. Hawkes relays that everyone on site except for SOE staff and law enforcement have been forced out of the building, and the count is scheduled to resume tomorrow at 8 AM. No vote totals have been given to the public yet. The early vote ballots have been sealed. No word on the hand-counted ballots.
The reason given for the early closure is that the building where the recount is taking place has an alarm system that automatically arms at 11 PM. Pro-West advocates claim that the same facility has been used in the past weeks as late as 2 AM. Hawkes and her contacts find it hard to believe that over 37,000 ballots were counted in twelve hours, but 304 more could not be completed in two.
West supporters on the ground describe their experience through the entire recount process as an emotional roller coaster. The county originally granted a recount of only the last three days of early voting. On Friday, Judge Dan Vaughn denied West’s request for a recount of the previous five days; the SOE superseded the decision the same day.
UPDATE 3: A witness at the scene told Hawkes “as each machine is emptied, all ballots are placed in a new box, taped, secured, and signed off by two police officers who stand right there and watch.” The votes will then be undisputably recorded in the case of a district-wide recount.
Around 40 West supporters are on site waiting for the results and six Murphy supporters. Though it will not affect the outcome, the West camp remains confident, because “in every recount that has happened West has gained votes.”
UPDATE 2: BNN’s source Hawkes reports the early vote retabulation has been completed.
County operatives have begun to count the 304 lost ballots by hand, and the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) has begun uploading data from the voting machines’ memory cards–a process that takes roughly an hour to complete. Representatives from both sides are monitoring the process. The final vote count is expected at midnight eastern time.
Original story continues below:
Congressman Allen West may gain enough votes to trigger a full recount of the Nov. 6 election results, which initially went for Democrat Patrick Murphy, sources monitoring the race in Florida’s Congressional District 18 have told Breitbart News.
The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board voted 2-1 Friday to grant West a recount of early votes cast within the county from October 27th to November 3rd. The county rejected an injunction from Murphy’s campaign to stop the recount Saturday afternoon, reports Elizabeth Hawkes, CEO of Youth for Palin, Inc. The recount will be completed at 8 PM EST Saturday.
John Swetland, a spokesperson for Allen West Republic, a group not affiliated with the official West campaign, claimed a number of lost ballots would be included in the recount of early votes.
“Last night they found 304 more missing ballots–that is, in addition to all the other errors throughout the week, but of that I do not have an accurate number that I’d be comfortable quoting,” Swetland stated. “Also, while awaiting the verdict by the canvassing board the public in attendance was informed that the box of uncounted missing ballots had been found, the location was reported to us as being in the corner of a school gymnasium.”
The official count of the results in St. Lucie County were 52,672 votes for West and 65,567 for Murphy–a difference of 12,895. If the partial recount decreases Murphy’s lead by just 254 votes, to a lead below 12,641, that will trigger an automatic recount across the entire district–Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties.
This is a breaking news update. Breitbart News will announce the results of the partial recount as soon as they are available.
UPDATE: TCPalm confirms the Murphy injunction’s rejection.