Following weeks of controversy, Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes has officially resigned from her post.
Broward County has been a focal point in Florida’s senatorial election race between Republican victor Rick Scott and Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson.
From the Washington Examiner:
Embattled Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes submitted her resignation hours after Florida completed its manual recount for the state’s Senate, gubernatorial, and agricultural commissioner races.
“It is true. She did send it,” Burnadette Norris-Weeks, counsel to Broward County’s Supervisor of Elections Office, told the Sun-Sentinel on Sunday.
Norris-Weeks said one of the reasons Snipes gave for her departure, which is likely to take effect during the first week of January 2019, was that she wanted to spend more time with her family. The timing of her exit will affect whether outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, who is now senator-elect, will appoint her replacement, or whether that task will fall on incoming Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Scott, who is the governor of Florida, successfully sued Snipes during the recount processes.
As ABC News reports, Snipes’ office “intermingled 22 provisional ballots that shouldn’t have been counted, within a batch of 205” submitted as evidence to the court. Snipes later admitted to having misplaced more than 2,000 voter ballots in other elections.
As the Sun-Sentinel reports, Snipes was openly criticized by Scott, President Trump, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for perceived wrongdoings in the election process.
Last Monday, as Fox News reports, Snipes said she’s been in her election supervisor position “for about 15 years, and I have to say this the first time that this office or I have been under such attacks.”
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“There have been issues that haven’t gone the way we wanted it. You can call it a mistake or you can call it whatever you want to call it,” she added, deflecting claims that her office was illegally affecting the outcomes of elections.
Fox News described Snipes as a “notorious figure in Florida politics” who has a history of breaking election laws:
Earlier this year, a state judge ruled that Snipes broke election law by destroying ballots in a 2016 congressional primary race involving Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz without waiting the required 22 months. Also in 2016, a medical marijuana amendment didn’t appear on some Broward ballots, and again that year results from primary elections were posted on the office’s website before polls had closed.
A week after the 2012 election, about 1,000 uncounted ballots were suddenly discovered. And in 2004, about 58,000 mail-in ballots were not delivered, requiring workers to hurry to replace them.
Just last week, a Broward County judge found that Snipes had violated Florida open records laws by failing to quickly provide voting records to attorneys for Scott’s Senate campaign.
Despite the controversy in this year’s senatorial election, Nelson ultimately conceded to Scott. In a video posted online, Nelson thanked his supporters and encouraged them to “never give up this fight.”
“Well, things turned out a little differently than we had hoped, but I by no means feel defeated,” Nelson similarly wrote on Twitter. “It’s been a rewarding journey and a very humbling experience. No one could be more blessed.”
Watch his concession speech below: