Judge denies Rep. West's motion to impound ballots

Allen West trails Democrat Patrick Murphy in race for District 18 seat

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A judge has denied Congressman Allen West's request to impound ballots and voting machines, dealing a blow to his re-election chances.

Circuit Judge David Crow called the incumbent Republican's motion "entirely premature" and said Friday vote-counting procedures are in place and being followed.

Democrat Patrick Murphy holds a lead in the race for the District 18 seat and an unofficial tally puts him above the threshold for a recount.

The ruling was a defeat for West, but his side claimed victory anyway. An attorney for West says the campaign was simply trying to make sure the election is fair and transparent.

A full unofficial count of votes is due Saturday. An attorney for Murphy called West's legal actions a "political stunt."

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