POLITICS
11/08/2012 11:44 am ET Updated Nov 08, 2012

Allen West Recount? Trailing Congressman Files Injunctions To Impound Ballots

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is seeking a recount following Tuesday's election.

The campaign wants a hand recount in Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties, and also filed injunctions to impound ballot machines. A hearing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday in Palm Beach County and Friday in St. Lucie County.

Democrat Patrick Murphy leads West by a margin of 160,328 votes to 157,872 votes, or about 50.39 percent to 49.61 percent, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

But the lead of about 0.8 percent is outside the 0.5 margin that Florida law requires for a recount.

"If the percentage does not fit within the statutory criteria for recounts, there exists no statutory mechanism for a candidate, group, or anyone else to have a recount done by the state or any supervisor of elections," said Division of Elections spokesman Chris Cate to CBS4.

West's campaign issued a long statement Wednesday on its Facebook page saying the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections "clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos."

"There are still provisional ballots, absentee ballots and military ballots to be counted across the district so at this point in time we don’t know what the margin will be," said West spokesman Tim Edison. "There are several thousand votes still to be counted. We are only a couple hundred votes outside of an automatic recount."

Murphy's campaign wants to move on. "Patrick Murphy is grateful to the voters for electing him. People are ready for the campaign season to be over and for the people they elected to get to work," said spokeswoman Erin Moffet.

Murphy already had declared victory early Wednesday morning. “NBC News has called this,” he said. “We won, baby.”

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