West wants voting machines impounded

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (WFLX) - One of the biggest potential surprises to come out of this election is the congressional race for the District 18 seat where Democrat Patrick Murphy has declared victory over incumbent Allen West. But West's camp isn't giving up without a fight.

UPDATE, WED 4 PM: The West camp filed legal actions in both St. Lucie and Palm Beach Counties asking for an injunction to impound all the voting equipment.

At the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office, the canvassing board asked to seal all the ballots until a judge makes a ruling in the case. There is an armed deputy on guard.

When the unofficial results were tallied, Murphy had a 2,400 vote lead. West's camp is asking for a full hand recount of all ballots.

The West team also went after Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker saying Tuesday night was complete chaos in her office, going so far as to call her incompetent. "I'm very disappointed with that, that it would have to be personal, and someone would actually call someone incompetent. That's a low blow," said Walker who's been in her position more than three decades.

An attorney for the West team in West Palm Beach had no comment. An attorney for the Murphy camp in Ft. Pierce also had no comment.

As for Congressman West, he never turned out to greet supporters at his election night party, and his camp says he won't make a comment until all the results are confirmed.

The unofficial voter tally has to go up to Tallahassee by Sunday, so any recount would have to be done before then.

UPDATE, WED 12 PM: Allen West has just released a statement that suggests this race is far from over; even though, the actual vote count shows Murphy in the lead.

West's campaign manager, Tim Edson, released the following statement regarding the results:

"This race is far from decided, and there is no rush to declare an outcome. Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance. There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district.  

"Late last night Congressman West maintained a district-wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections 'recounted' thousands of early ballots. Following that 'recount' Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes. In addition, there were numerous other disturbing irregularities reported at polls across St. Lucie County including the doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed, in direct violation of Florida law, thereby preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results. The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor's office last [Tuesday] night could only be described as complete chaos. Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly,  and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary."

Votes are still being counted in Palm Beach County. They're currently at a 50-50 split, so a recount of the duplicated absentee ballots that were mailed out may need to be recounted.

In St Lucie County, Murphy lead the polls by 56 percent while West had 44 percent of the votes.

In Martin County, West had 57 percent of the votes, and Murphy had 43 percent.

We'll update you when the final numbers are in from Palm Beach County.

Previously: It's been a long but exciting night for those here at Pat Murphy's headquarters.

It wasn't until very early Wednesday morning Murphy learned he came out with more votes than Allen West.

But not all the votes in Palm Beach County have been counted. The race was pretty close; though, in fact, there were only a couple thousand votes separating the candidates.

However, this could lead to a possible recount or challenge since the race is still so close.

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