Congressman Allen West Wants Ballots, Voting Machines Impounded

Democrat Patrick Murphy has a small lead, according to the Florida Division of Elections

Republican Congressman Allen West wants a judge to order the seizure of ballots and voting machines as he trails in his race against Democrat Patrick Murphy.

West filed motions Wednesday asking that a court order elections officials to impound voting materials.

The Republican's campaign manager said Wednesday "there is no rush to declare an outcome" in the race against Democrat Patrick Murphy in the 18th Congressional District. He says a recount is necessary.

According to an unofficial tally, political newcomer Murphy has a 2,456-vote lead. He has 160,328 votes to 157,872 for West, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

That margin of about three-quarters of a percentage point is outside the parameters for a state-mandated recount.

West is refusing to concede, saying there are "disturbing irregularities" at the polls, including possible tabulation errors and voters being locked out.

West is a freshman Republican known across the country for his fiery tea party rhetoric. Twenty-nine-year-old Murphy is a construction executive making his first run for office.

West moved out of the 22nd Congressional District he's represented for the past two years after redistricting changed it from a tossup to one that leans Democratic. Former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel won that election Tuesday.

The 18th Congressional District includes northern Palm Beach County, as well as parts of Martin and St. Lucie counties.

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