According to a new report from Politico, controversial Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes is expected to be forced out either by Governor Rick Scott or by his near certain successor, Ron DeSantis.
Having made a series of inexplicable errors that included law breaking behavior, Snipes has been often labeled as “incompetent” and according to the report, even losing support from Democrats.
There is no question that Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes failed to comply with Florida law on multiple counts, undermining Floridians’ confidence in our electoral process. Supervisor Snipes should be removed from her office following the recounts.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 12, 2018
Brenda Snipes never intended to comply with the judge’s order.
She’s going to try to rig this election no matter what anyone says.
She needs to be arrested and removed from office.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) November 10, 2018
I warned many months ago that if Brenda Snipes was not removed from office [email protected] felonies, there would be more lawbreaking & far less public confidence in our elections. This election should be invalidated & corrected with special election 100% hand counted paper ballots. https://t.co/X5ZlIwQEyK
— Tim Canova (@Tim_Canova) November 12, 2018
Counting unlawful votes. Destroying ballots. Sunshine Law violations. Busted deadlines.
So many controversies have bedeviled Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes — culminating in her office’s troubles in the aftermath of Florida’s chaotic 2018 elections — that her days in office are now numbered, insiders and lawmakers say.
She’s losing support from fellow Democrats and faces the increasing likelihood of an embarrassing suspension from office at the hands of either Gov. Rick Scott or his likely successor, Ron DeSantis.
Suspending Snipes from office would put a final exclamation point on one of the most contested midterms in recent Florida history, which has resulted in three statewide recounts — for U.S. Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner — as well as recounts in three local legislative races. Removal proceedings in the GOP-led Florida Senate could also cause a possible rift among Florida state Senate Democrats if the black caucus rallies around Snipes in the same way it did around her predecessor, who was also African-American, more than a decade ago.
“This is not just the most troubled elections office in the state, it’s the most troubled elections office in the nation,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, who contends that Snipes needs to be removed from office once the recounts that began Sunday in the races for governor and U.S. Senate are over.
“She has shown she’s incapable of conducting a large and important election in a way that inspires public confidence and trust,” Rubio said. “She’s been found to have destroyed ballots, in violation of the law. Opened absentee ballots early, in violation of the law. Misprinted ballots that have gone out.”
Snipes’ attorney, Burnadette Norris-Weeks, said Snipes is being unfairly attacked, along with Palm Beach County’s supervisor, Susan Bucher.
“Political gamesmanship at its best,” Norris-Weeks said via email. “The Broward County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections (and the canvassing boards for both counties) have done nothing more than count all votes as required by law. Ridiculous!”
If Snipes is suspended by the governor, incoming Florida state Senate President Bill Galvano said it’s time to have his chamber investigate and prepare to strike the final blow by removing her from office — just as the chamber did to her predecessor, Miriam Oliphant, for mismanaging the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial primary.
“What she’s demonstrated over the years is a series of mistakes that rise above the level of negligence and into incompetence,” Galvano said. “We can’t continue to keep ignoring this and every option should be on the table.”
Under Florida’s constitution, “incompetence” is a specific cause that a governor can invoke in suspending a constitutional officer such as Snipes.
Democrats say Snipes has privately confided that she plans to quit, but it’s unclear when. “I hope it’s soon,” said one state Senate Democrat who declined to be named. “Otherwise, she’s a goner.” Heading into the election, Democratic campaigns fretted about what her mismanagement would do in the second-largest Democratic county in the state.