Embattled Broward Election Supervisor Announces Possible Retirement

Brenda Snipes has been at the center of controversy as a head election official — but this isn't the first time

Image Credit: Alex Wong/Mario Tama/Getty Images

Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes (shown above right) announced that she might retire from her post on Tuesday amid a major ballot controversy in her county.

Florida closed the polls just as every other state did after the midterm elections on November 5.

But the Sunshine State has remained in the fight with a recount effort well underway.

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Broward County helped to trigger the highly controversial recount by finding additional uncounted ballots after the deadline came due to submit them. And some critics have alleged voter fraud in response.

“It is time to move on,” Snipes told reporters, according to the Miami Herald.

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“I think I have served the purpose that I came for, which is to provide a credible election product for Broward.”

Related: Judge Orders Broward County to Release Voter Data Amid Controversy

Snipes added that the decision is not final because she still has to first talk to her family about it.

She was responding to a question about former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s calling for her removal from office.

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Bush appointed her back and she first began serving in the role in 2003. She’s been elected to the post four times — and is facing re-election in 2020.

Broward County has been embroiled in controversy with the senatorial and gubernatorial races in the state remaining ultra-close. The uncovered ballots were enough to narrow the already small margins to cause the recount. Outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R) responded by filing a lawsuit against the county.

He also alleged rampant fraud by Democratic county officials.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) also joined the lawsuit, which alleges that officials in Broward County and Palm Beach County are hiding critical information about the number of votes cast and counted in the Democrat-heavy districts.

Snipes was at the center of much of it as the head election official in the county. But this most recent election isn’t the first time she’s drawn national attention.

The county previously discovered 1,000 uncounted ballots a week after an election in 2012.

The county was also accused of releasing results earlier and destroying ballots in 2016.

The Florida recount effort has attracted national attention, as there’s still the chance the additional votes could change the original outcome. Scott held a slight lead in his campaign to become a senator against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

And Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) was leading in his bid to become the next state governor against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D).

Related: Trump: Florida Ballot Scandal Is an ‘Embarrassment to Our Country and to Democracy’

President Donald Trump has also spoken out against county officials when he dubbed the controversy “The Broward Effect.” He questioned why, in these cases, no extra votes are ever found for Republicans.

The president also reassured voters that law enforcement is looking into it.

Florida Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter said during an emergency hearing on Monday that there are no signs of wrongdoing.

He also urged all sides to tone down the political rhetoric. He added that anyone with any evidence of voter fraud or irregularities should report it to law enforcement.

Both sides also agreed to add three more sheriff deputies to oversee the recount.

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