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Watchdog group sues Fla. county elections chief over West recount

- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2013

Elections watchdog group True the Vote has filed a federal lawsuit against St. Lucie County Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker for failure to comply with federal law after the congressional race and recount between then-Rep. Allen B. West and his challenger, current Rep. Patrick Murphy.

The National Voter Registration of 1993 "permits the right to inspect election records," and the group is claiming it has not been granted access. True the Vote is demanding to "publicly inspect and examine all voter registration and election records," the lawsuit states.

The recount between Mr. West and Mr. Murphy, who ended up taking the seat, proved to be one of the most costly. The supervisor of elections office was a chaotic scene for several days while volunteers scrambled to recount the ballots.

Protesters added considerable confusion after the county's canvassing elections board opted to recount only the ballots cast during the last three days of early voting, rather than all of the early votes.

Mr. West's campaign manager, Tim Edson, called the recount a "sham" and a "circus" and vowed to take all legal means necessary to get a full recount, the Palm Beach Post reported.

In a video posted on True the Vote's website Monday, the watchdog's founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, argued the urgency of the pending lawsuit.

"The clock is ticking on the opportunity for a comprehensive, outside audit of this recount," Ms. Engelbrecht said. "Each passing day heightens the risk of critical documents being disposed of. If you thought voter fraud could erode America's confidence in elections, unchecked incompetence in the vote tabulation process will destroy all faith remaining in our systems."

Ms. Walker has not yet complied with any of the requests by True the Vote, which also includes a request for all records of Ms. Walker's ensuring that all noncitizens and ineligible voters did not participate in the congressional election, Breitbart News reports.

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