The 2012 election is over — almost. Among the “loose ends” (such a term trivializes something that is not at all trivial) is the Florida Congressional seat purportedly lost by Republican Allen West to Democrat challenger Patrick Murphy.
Murphy’s reported margin of victory was narrow. Originally just 2,442 votes, out of over 330,000. After it was discovered that machines double counted some of the pre-election day ballots, a partial recount of 16,275 ballots cast between November 1 to November 3 resulted in a 799 vote swing in West’s favor [ref].
Because of the double counting, as well as reported voter turnout in excess of 100% (141% is what West claimed, which I have not verified), West is requesting a full recount, including an audit of votes to compare voter signatures with total ballots counted.
Murphy is adamantly against the recount, and the Democrats are accusing West of “political games”. They are doing everything in their power to prevent a full recount. Why? In such a close race, with already documented tabulation errors, and possible voting irregularities, shouldn’t the number one priority be determining the true winner? Do they have something to hide?
Certainly Murphy is afraid he’ll lose. He may even expect to lose if there is a full recount. The recount numbers don’t appear to be in his favor. If only 5% of ballots were recounted, and Murphy’s lead plummeted by 33%, then recounting the remaining 95% of the ballots could very easily change (correct?) the outcome. If each additional 5% (16,500) of recounted ballots only shifted 50 votes to West, then West would win the election.
Isn’t the purpose of an election to get a clear winner? To put in office the person that the people elect? To make sure that every vote is counted correctly? Absolutely. Even Nevada’s Senate Democrat Harry Reid said so just the other day:
…we are reminded that the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. That right is not secure when some votes are counted while others are suppressed or ignored. I expect state and local officials in Arizona to ensure that every vote is counted promptly, accurately and equally. [ref
Getting the true winner into office is infinitely more important than getting a particular candidate into office. The integrity and accuracy of the election process is paramount. Unfortunately, there is a “win at all costs” and an “ends justify the means” mentality that is corrupting our nation’s morals and eroding our freedoms.
Instead of attempting to stonewall and block the recount, Murphy should welcome it. It will either vindicate victory for him, or correct a grave error.