ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- Amid worries over missing votes and a cloud of suspicion over the race for the 18th Congressional district, volunteer attorneys for U.S. Rep. Allen West have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to conduct a preliminary investigation into the election and for a machine recount in three counties.
In a letter to Detzner, attorneys Mark Young and Jeffrey Scott Shapiro said 809 votes disappeared when the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections re-tabulated the final three days of early votes on Sunday.
Young and Shapiro said the missing votes, which accounted for 3.2% of the re-tabulated votes, amounted to an irregularity.
After the re-tabulation, West received a net increase of 535 votes over the projected winner, Patrick Murphy.
"On faith and belief, if this trend continues, for the remaining votes, the final outcome of the Congressional election could change," Yound and Shapiro said.
More than 330,000 votes were cast in the race.
West said he was 249 votes away from an automatic recount.
On Friday, a St. Lucie County judge will hear a request from West's attorneys to recount all of the early votes cast in St. Lucie County.
This story was updated to clarify that the attorneys who filed are volunteers -- not campaign attorneys.