In Florida’s Election Snafu, Broward’s Brenda Snipes Finds ‘Magic Bags of Ballots’

State Rep. Matt Caldwell is 'steaming mad' about uncounted ballots

Image Credit: Alex Wong/Mario Tama/Getty Images

The initial 40,000-vote victory for Florida state Rep. Matt Caldwell (R)  in his agriculture commissioner race on Tuesday night has since plummeted to a more than 3,000-vote loss behind Democratic candidate Nikki Fried. This is all because Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has continued “to find magic bags of ballots,” Caldwell said Friday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Snipes (pictured above right) and Broward County became engulfed in controversy in the days following Tuesday’s midterm elections when GOP candidates’ comfortable leads over Democratic candidates sank enough over the last three days to trigger recounts, potentially.

Related: Florida Elections Supervisor Wants an Emergency Hearing

“Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they ‘found’ many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes. ‘The Broward Effect.’ How come they never find Republican votes?” President Donald Trump tweeted Friday.

“Thank you @marcorubio for helping to expose the potential corruption going on with respect to Election Theft in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The WORLD is now watching closely!” he also said.

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Although Caldwell, outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis (R) all held sufficient margins of victories on Tuesday, Caldwell is now losing his race and Scott and DeSantis have seen their leads catastrophically chipped away.

“I am steaming mad about this,” Caldwell told former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), who was substituting for Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Friday night.

“You know, we went to bed [on] Tuesday night with a 40,000-vote lead, and over the course of the last three days, the Broward County supervisor has continued to find magic bags of ballots that have turned that into a 3,000-vote loss. It’s really spectacular,” Caldwell said.

All Florida voters “deserve to have a straight answer” and deserve to have faith in the integrity of the state’s election process, Caldwell insisted.

“There [are] 8 million people roughly that voted in this election, and the fact that we can’t get a satisfactory answer for now after three days of asking, Where did these ballots come from? When were they cast? And why hadn’t they been counted yet? — it’s completely outrageous,” Caldwell said.

He filed a lawsuit on Friday asking “the court to protect the integrity of all ballots and all public records relating to the election for Commissioner of Agriculture.”

Scott and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) sued both Broward County and Palm Beach County on Thursday.

Scott also 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,” thus raising “substantial concerns about the validity of the election process.”

A judge ordered Broward County on Friday to release voter information in response to Scott’s legal challenge.

By Florida law, Broward County is “supposed to have all of [its] early votes tabulated and reported a half an hour after the polls closed” on Tuesday, and it’s still not done, Caldwell said.

“It’s just totally outrageous … We went to bed on Tuesday night with a substantial lead, and it magically disappears over the last three days just enough ballots to not only push our victory into a loss according to [Snipes’] tally, but also to push both the Senate race and the governor’s race into a recount,” Caldwell lamented.

“It just stinks to high heaven.”

Snipes, who has said that she doesn’t know how many ballots remain uncounted in Broward County, has been the subject of similar controversies before.

“Again, it’s just a habitual problem with Broward County,” Caldwell said.

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

Andrew Pollack, the father of Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack, told Huckabee later on during “The Ingraham Angle” that “no one’s been affected more by Broward County than myself and my son and my family. My daughter was murdered in Broward County.”

Seventeen students and staff members at Stoneman Douglas High School were shot and killed in February by gunman Nikolas Cruz.

“I tell people all the time the word that haunts me is accountability, Mike. And we haven’t seen it in Broward County. And it’s about time that, you know, we’re going to put some officials in place that are going to start holding these people accountable.”

Pollack pinned the blame for both the shooting and the ballot controversy on the county’s systemic problems and its Democratic leadership.

“These leaders are all unethical, liberal Democrats that aren’t capable of running a preschool, let alone a county. So it’s very important — when people see what’s going on in Broward, these people are unethical,” Pollack said.

His son, Hunter Pollack, added, “Broward County right now is the laughing stock of the entire country. The governor has stood by my family since the worst tragedy of our lives, and we’re going to stand by him. They’ll be damned if they think they’ll steal this election from us.”

His father concluded, “I tell people all the time the word that haunts me is accountability, Mike. And we haven’t seen it in Broward County. And it’s about time that, you know, we’re going to put some officials in place that are going to start holding these people accountable.”

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