Who is Brenda Snipes? It seems to be the question of the day, as the recent Florida gubernatorial race descends into acrimony over the actions of Broward County Supervisor of Elections.
Genuine outrage has erupted over the recount in Florida, with Governor Rick Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) filing a lawsuit against the election officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
In emergency complaint, Scott accused Snipes of being “unwilling to disclose records revealing how many electors voted, how many ballots have been canvassed and how many ballots remain to be canvassed.” He also lost no time in charging that the uncertainty “raises substantial concerns about the validity of the election process.”
In the gubernatorial election, Republican candidate Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum in an extremely tight count. The unofficial tally of votes cast in the November 6 election has DeSantis leading Gillum by 0.41% – or approximately 33,000 votes – triggering an automatic recount under Florida law.
However, Snipes’ conduct has muddied the waters to say the least – and she has previous instances of questionable electoral practices that blot her copy book – some of them dating back to 2014.
Meet Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes. She has a colorful history of fraud. Here are a few examples of when she’s just been outright incompetent and possibly criminal. pic.twitter.com/56R636SLrO
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 9, 2018
President Donald Trump also weighed in on the scandal, “She has a horrible history … and all of a sudden they’re finding votes out of nowhere,” he told reporters on Friday.
According to The Miami Herald, many voters wanting to vote by absentee ballot either did not receive their ballots in time or not at all. Benjamin Bennett, a former Broward elections inspector who quit in frustration, remarked that he was at a mall to help check IDs and walk people to booths, at least 100 to 150 people out of approximately 1,250 were “extremely upset because they had not received their absentee ballot.”
In another blow to Snipes’ office’s integrity, The Daily Signal reported in August 2017 that The Public Interest Legal Foundation sued Broward County, Florida, for failing to maintain its voter rolls as required by law. The paper 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..”
Florida is not the only state whose electoral races have descended into deeply partisan acrimony. Arizona and Georgia also witnessed close-run Senate and gubernatorial races, with both Democrats and Republicans accusing the other of misconduct or even outright cheating.