St. Lucie County Circuit Judge Dan Vaughn has denied the motion for a preliminary injunction.
Vaughn heard attorneys argue on behalf of Congressman Allen West, Patrick Murphy and the St. Lucie County’s canvassing board at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Attorneys for Murphy and the canvassing board both argued that under Florida law, the canvassing board has sole discretion about recounting ballots. They argued that the circuit court has no jurisdiction to remedy the situation and should not be in the position to make the decision.
The canvassing board scheduled a meeting for Friday at 4 p.m. to revisit the issue of counting early votes, despite having ignored multiple requests from the West team during the past week. Murphy’s attorneys requested that the court not substitute its judgement for the judgement of the canvassing board.
Attorneys for Murphy told the judge that the West team does not have “a shred of evidence” and “have not met their burden” in the case. West’s attorney insisted there is sufficient evidence in the documents presented.
The West team argued that a simple review of public records shows big problems with the tabulation of votes in multiple cases and precincts. “Shifting numbers, private meetings and failure to provide information should be a factor,” they said.
In what could prove to be a blockbuster, Murphy’s attorney said he would take the canvassing board back to court if it decided to recount all the early votes. He claimed that the decision would be unfounded based on the lack of evidence.
In a moment of levity, the canvassing board’s attorney joked that coming into court, he was only being challenged by one team, and he’s leaving court being challenged by both teams.
“Welcome to my world,” the judge responded.
Protesters from both sides were outside