U.S. Rep. Allen West may have ended his two-week battle with election officials in St. Lucie County on Tuesday, but the Treasure Coast office will continue to face scrutiny over how it handled the election. Florida Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, vowed she will pursue correcting how the supervisor of elections office reportedly double-counted some ballots and misplaced others in West’s defeat to Democrat Patrick Murphy of Jupiter. “We’re going to move forward looking very carefully at the recommendations, seeing exactly what they say and see what went wrong with this election process in St. Lucie County,” Harrell said Tuesday.
“The voters have got to have confidence in the process. How can you have a democracy without confidence in the electoral process? And I don’t know that they have that right now.”
Harrell said with an audit report pending from the state on the St. Lucie County election, it is too early in any review to address making changes in the county supervisor of elections office. But, she added, because of other election problems in the county in 2006 and 2010, she has heard “a great deal of estrangement” from voters.
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Besides protests that sprung up outside the county elections headquarters in Fort Pierce, Beverly Hires, who made waves in June when she closed the House District 82 contest when she filed as a write-in candidate against five Republicans, has petitioned Gov. Rick Scott to take over the retabulation of the Congressional District 18 contest.
Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, sitting as the Florida Elections Canvassing Commission, certified the county’s unofficial results on Tuesday as they approved the statewide numbers.
Asked if he was satisfied with the District 18 results, Scott simply said: “That’s what all the numbers show.”