St. Lucie County election results posted, after hours of delay

FORT PIERCE, Fla.-- Around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, unofficial final numbers updated on the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections website. The numbers were cited as including all early voting, all absentee and all precinct results.

Gertrude Walker, Supervisor of Elections for St. Lucie County, said she is not sure why the Election Summary Report lists "Cards Cast" as 141%. "They may have had something like that in Palm Beach County, but we've never seen that here," she said.

Precinct 89, Morningside Library, was the last of 65 total precincts to be counted. The boxes containing the precinct's votes were left by a worker at the library, locked inside, according to Walker. "I'm not sure why he left them there," she said. "That's never happened to us before." The boxes were not brought in to the tabulation center until after midnight.

Walker said Allen West, candidate for Representative in Congress District 18, filed a motion to have the ballots sealed. Ballots were sealed by the Canvassing Board in the Supervisor of Elections office. A St. Lucie County sheriff's deputy stayed with the ballots overnight.

70.7% of the district's 175,552 registered voters cast their ballots in the election. That's a lower percentage than the 2008 election, which saw 77% of registered voters cast ballots. Walker had originally predicted 80% of voters would turn out.

One cause of delay on the results was 16,000 early voting ballots had to be recounted. Walker explained that delay as from a failed memory card. "It was three days of early voting that we had to re-feed," she said.

Another unusual circumstance in this race was the high number of provisional ballots. Walker said the district had approximately 800 provisionals, which she describes as "extremely high." She believes they could be caused in part by voters who have moved county to county. "We've never had two ballots for every voter, and the machines count all ballots," she said.

The Supervisor of Elections website will list the results as "unofficial" until provisionals are checked, re-counts are performed, military votes and civilians who reside overseas have all the votes counted.

Nine days after all those are completed, the elections are certified by the supervisor's office.

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