FORT PIERCE, Fla. - St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker told the public in a news conference Tuesday afternoon that she and her staff have been working 12-14 hour days to correct errors.
"I'm going to continue until every vote is counted accurately," she told the crowd of reporters and concerned citizens.
Her message comes just as Allen West's camp released a statement, saying he's seeking a court order for a recount of all early votes cast.
His statement said the complaint "asks the court to immediately issue a preliminary injunction ordering Defendant Gertrude Walker, as St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, and Defendant Dan Detzner, as Florida Secretary of State, to convene the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board for the purpose of counting all votes cast in the election for the 18th Congressional District during the early voting period, and ordering Defendants to refrain from certifying results of the election for the 18th Congressional District until all ballots cast during the early voting period have been counted."
Walker said in the press conference, "If the state orders a recount, me and the Canvassing Board would be very pleased to do that. That's our job. We just don't have the authority to order a recount ourselves."
She explained that the Canvassing Board only had the legal authority to re-tabulate votes from three days of early votes and not all eight days, since those three days were identified as incorrect because of tabulation machine memory card failures.
"What the law requires is that the canvassing board correct the error," she said. "If they are able to isolate where the error is, that's what they were supposed to re-tabulate."
Walker issued a response to West's original lawsuit seeking a manual recount of all the ballots and an impounding of the voting machines. Her response, through the St. Lucie County Circuit Clerk of Court office, asked the court to deny his request, saying his motion is "procedurally and factually defective," and that "the plaintiff has failed to allege, let alone prove, the elements required for injunctive relief."
Chris Cate, spokesman for the Florida Division of Elections, confirmed the department is sending three employees to assess the tabulation process. He wrote in an email that this is the only county he knows of that is having these issues.
Walker said she spoke with the Division of Elections just before her press conference, and she welcomes the visit.
"We had (that) option as a Canvassing Board, and I notified them of the discrepancy and he gave me options of what to do," she said, of the official visit. "That is something that I want to assure the voters that the results that the board signed off on are here. They have a travel day, he didn't know exactly when he will be here, not be here tomorrow, probably by Friday."
Despite huge problems from what she calls "too much haste" trying to get election night results, Walker said she's confident the vote count they have now is accurate.
"It happened, it's corrected, and we have the correct results right now," she said.
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