The elections in Florida are still not decided, more than ten days after polls closed last Tuesday. Part of the reason: Broward Country Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes.
Snipes did not turn over voter tallies on the night of the election, or the day after, or the day after. She did not reveal pertinent information relating to the total number of ballots which were cast on election day, how much each candidate had received, and how many were left to be counted. This information, by state and federal law, is required to be publically shared.
Republican senatorial candidate Rick Scott held a 58,000-vote lead on election night but saw his lead diminish as votes were slowly emerging. Finally, enough voter information was turned over and Scott saw his lead dwindle to just under 15,000 votes.
This small lead then led Florida’s secretary of state to order a machine recount.
Days later, Snipes was supposed to turn over the machine recount totals. She did, two minutes after the deadline, nulling the new total (which gave Scott more than 700 additional votes).
From BizPac Review:
Citing broken down machines, Palm Beach County didn’t make much effort to get to the finish line, while Broward raced to the deadline and actually finished the recount before 3 p.m.
But in a display of incompetence so egregious it’s hard to believe it wasn’t planned, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes supiciously turned the new figures in two minutes after the deadline, Judicial Watch reported:
A Judicial Watch investigative team is on the ground monitoring the debacle in south Florida and attorneys were present in Broward until the recount was completed just minutes before the clock ran out. However, the county uploaded the results two minutes too late which means the state will likely stick to the original tallies submitted on Saturday.
This is not the first time or first election that Snipes has fumbled either, Fox News reports.
Snipes, who has held her office since 2003, is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, Scott’s administration said it was monitoring her office after a judge ruled in May the county broke federal law by destroying ballots in Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s 2016 Democratic primary race against Tim Canova, Politico reported.
Snipes claimed the issue had been “blown out of proportion.”
In August, a judge sided with the Florida GOP in its challenge of how the county handled absentee ballots. Republicans claimed Snipes’ office was opening ballots in private, preventing people from challenging if they were properly cast, according to Politico.
And then in 2016, Broward County violated the law when it posted early voting results online before polls even closed, the Miami Herald reported.
In 2004, her office had to scramble to send out new absentee ballots after it said some 58,000 voters did not receive them despite requesting them, the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time.
There were problems with absentee ballots this year, too. Multiple people said they did not receive absentee ballots or got them too late to submit them, according to the Miami Herald. Some ballots also had duplicate pages, voters said.
“This is consistent. It happens every election. Every election there is a snafu of some type every time,” Benjamin Bennett, a former Broward elections inspector, alleged.
Snipes, responding to criticism, seemingly ignored her shaky track record and instead said racism was “probably” the reason people are critical of her, the Guardian reported.
Brenda Snipes, elections supervisor of Broward county, was condemned by Republicans and Democrats after failing to submit tallies in the US Senate race between Rick Scott and Bill Nelson on schedule.
In a short interview, Snipes, 75, said: “You know, the protesters have been claiming stuff all week so whatever they’re doing, that’s what they’re doing. That’s what they feel like they need to do.”
Asked if she felt it was racially motivated, the supervisor replied: “Probably. Probably.” She declined to elaborate.