Brenda Snipes is the Broward County supervisor of elections who was sued by Republicans accusing the county of being unable to provide accurate vote counts from Tuesday’s tight gubernatorial and Senate elections.
Brenda Snipes was sued along with Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher by Florida Governor Rick Scott’s US Senate campaign. Scott leads incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by less than 0.02 percent. Both Snipes, who was backed by former Republican Governor Jeb Bush, and Bucher are Democrats in counties that overwhelmingly favor Democrats. Nelson leads Scott by more than a 2-to-1 margin in Broward and by nearly 20 points in Palm Beach.
The lawsuit accuses Snipes and Bucher of failing to say how many ballots are still uncounted and where they came from.
“It has been over 48 hours since the polls closed and Broward and Palm Beach Counties are still finding and counting ballots – and the Supervisors – Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher – cannot seem to say how many ballots still exist or where these ballots came from, or where they have been,” Scott said at a news conference Thursday.
Broward County still has early and mail-in ballots to count while Palm Beach County still has mail-in ballots to count.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Brenda Snipes Was Backed by Republican Jeb Bush and Re-Elected 4 Times
Broward County election supervisor Brenda Snipes addresses reporters.
Snipes was asked to serve as the Supervisor of Elections in Broward County nearly 15 years ago, shortly after the infamous 2000 Florida recount in the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, WTSP reported. Broward is the second largest county in Florida with 1.15 million voters, second only to Miami-Dade County, which has about 1.4 million voters. Snipes was appointed in November 2003, after he predecessor was forced out amid controversy. Under former County Supervisor Miriam Oliphant, WTSP reports, uncounted votes were found stuffed in a cabinet drawer and her department was more than $1 million over budget.
Snipes, who has lived in the county since 1964, was re-elected in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.
Snipes has come under fire before. A judge ruled that her office improperly destroyed ballots too early in a 2016 Congressional race. Her office was also accused of facilitating voter fraud but a judge cleared Snipes and her office of any wrongdoing in the case.
Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio claimed that Snipes has a history of “blatant violations.”
“A U.S. Senate seat & a statewide cabinet officer are now potentially in the hands of an elections supervisor with a history of incompetence & of blatant violations of state & federal laws,” he wrote on Twitter.
“In 2016, Brenda Snipes’ office posted election results half an hour before polls closed – a violation of election law,” Scott said at his news conference. “That same year, her office was sued for leaving amendments off of ballots. In 2014, Brenda Snipes’ fellow Democrats accused her of individual …read more