Why West wants a recount

Friday, November 16, 2012
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

A legal scholar and former official on the Federal Election Commission doesn't think it's likely that Rep. Allen West (R-FL) will be able to hold on to his congressional seat despite some reported voting irregularities in one county.

The one-term congressman faced a daunting challenge in his re-election effort, as his original 22nd District was redrawn -- compelling him to run in the 18th District. He ended up losing to liberal Democrat Patrick Murphy by just over 1,900 votes. But West has filed a complaint with a Florida circuit court, seeking a full recount of the votes cast in the 18th District.

von Spakovsky, Hans (Heritage)Hans von Spakovsky is senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation and co-author of Who's Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk. He says the recount request came about after it was discovered that machines used in early voting in St. Lucie County were double counting.

"They did a recount, but they only did a recount for three days of early voting instead of the entire period," the legal fellow explains. "I think West has a good point that if you discover that there's a problem with the electronic voting machines, you should do a recount for the entire period that those early voting machines were used."

Still, von Spakovsky says the Republican representative faces an uphill battle.

"Election contests are extremely hard to win for challengers," he asserts. "People who lose have a very tough time. State laws on this are pretty strict because they want a certain election outcome, and it's tough for a challenger to get an election overturned."

A St. Lucie County circuit judge has scheduled an afternoon hearing on West's recount request for 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) today.

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