Now that genuine outrage has erupted over the recount in Florida, with Florida Governor Rick Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) filing a lawsuit against the election officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties, it is vital to understand exactly how incompetent and possibly illegal Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes’ actions in the past have been.
Here’s a list of some of the past actions of Snipes:
Let’s take a closer look at some of these:
- As the Orlando Sentinel reported last May, “The Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office violated state and federal laws by destroying ballots from a 2016 Congressional race too soon — and while the ballots were the subject of a lawsuit against the office, a judge has ruled.” The Sentinel explained that GOP congressional candidate Tim Canova, who lost his race against incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2016, wanted to check for voting irregularities in the race by looking at the paper ballots in March 2017. He filed suit against Snipes three months later because she still hadn’t honored his request. The Sentinel noted, “Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending.”
- As The Miami Herald reported this week, many voters wanting to vote by absentee ballot did not receive their ballots in time or receive them at all. The Herald reported, “The problem of absentee ballots not arriving to Broward voters is not isolated to Everett’s former students, said Benjamin Bennett, a former Broward elections inspector who quit in frustration. On the first day of early voting, 1,263 people voted at Coral Ridge Mall where he checked IDs and walked people to the booths. 'About 100 to 150 questioned myself and others as to what happened to their absentee ballot,' Bennett said. 'They were extremely upset and they wanted to know why. All we could do was to give them a card and tell them to call' the supervisor of elections. Bennett said it was the same every day — people showing up to vote because they never received their mail-in ballot."
- The Miami Herald reported in 2016 that Snipes’ office was slammed for mail-in ballots that elided a constitutional amendment question on medical marijuana. The Herald noted, “One of the organizations supporting the amendment, NORML of Florida, has asked for an emergency hearing after filing a lawsuit on what it called an error that could be ‘catastrophic and cataclysmic.’”
- The Daily Signal reported in August 2017 that The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued Broward County, Florida, for not maintaining its voter rolls as required by law. The Signal wrote, “According to the foundation, the county had 103 percent of its eligible voter population registered in the 2014 election, and the county’s records indicate that thousands of voters are over the age of 100, with one as old as 130 …The Public Interest Legal Foundation lawsuit was prompted by Snipes’ response to a request for information, filed pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act, seeking her methods of ensuring the accuracy of voter records. Snipes asserted that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, it was 'implausible' that ineligible voters are registered."
- In August 2018, Politico reported that after Snipes was sued by the GOP for how she handled vote-by-mail absentee ballots, a judge issued an injunction preventing her from opening the ballots in secret or before the county’s three-member Canvassing Board decided whether the ballots were valid.