Judge denies Rep. West's motion to impound ballots
BY MATT SEDENSKY
Saturday, November 10, 2012
11/10/12 at 7:37 AM
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Florida judge on Friday denied a request by Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West to impound ballots and voting machines, dealing a blow to the freshman lawmaker's bid for a second term.
Palm Beach Circuit Judge David Crow said West's motion was "entirely premature" and that the court had no authority to overrule election procedures that are in place and being followed.
"The law is clear: The manner and method of conducting an election, the process of recounting ballots, the process of contesting an election is specifically a legislative function," he said. "Courts should not get involved in the election process."
Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy leads West by a margin outside the bounds of a recount. An unofficial vote tally is due to the state Saturday.
Both Murphy's campaign and the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board opposed West's request. County attorneys had argued in court filings that granting West's motion would be "an invitation to chaos" and would "throw the entire system in disarray," setting precedent for such action before an election is even certified.
"I think this is basically - I hate to say it - but a kind of a political stunt," said Gerald Richman, an attorney for Murphy. "There was nothing here. They had no evidence."
Original Print Headline: West loses court challenge of vote for U.S. House seat