After a chaotic recount that drew national attention to South Florida, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes resigned Sunday.
The news, first reported by the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, comes after an intense two weeks following the November midterm elections and vociferous attacks on Snipes and her office, as Broward recounted ballots from the contentious Florida senate and governor’s races.
Burnadette Norris-Weeks, an attorney for the Supervisor of Elections Office, told the Sun Sentinel that Snipes had submitted her resignation letter to spend more time with her family. Norris-Weeks did not immediately respond to an email from The Washington Post.
Evelyn Pérez-Verdia, a former communications consultant at Snipes’s office, sent out a tweet Sunday night confirming the resignation. “Dr. Snipes has sent her resignation letter to Tallahassee,” she wrote. “I spoke to one of her key people which has confirmed that the resignation letter was sent today.”
As Florida’s 67 counties dove into ballots, many critics pounced on Broward and Snipes. President Donald Trump jumped into the fray with a series of tweets.
“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,'” Trump tweeted on Nov. 9.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was another regular critic. “#Broward election supervisors ongoing violation of #Florida law requiring timely reporting isn’t just annoying incompetence. It has opened the door for lawyers to come here & try to steal a seat in the U.S. Senate & Florida Cabinet,” he wrote Nov. 8 on Twitter.
Broward’s election track record is marred by mismanagement and improper procedures. Snipes’s handling of the 2018 election was also problematic, particularly in the tight senate race between Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott. On election night, Broward failed to report vote totals to the state every 45 minutes, Politico reported. Broward’s recount process took much longer than most of the other Florida counties. Snipes acknowledged over the weekend her office has misplaced more than 2,000 ballots included in the original count.
The Post reported that Broward election officials also missed a key deadline for the recount by two minutes, meaning the Florida secretary of state rejected the county’s machine-based tally.
Snipes was originally appointed as the county’s top election official by then-Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003 after her predecessor botched an election. The 75-year-old has gone on to win reelection continually to the post, despite a number of issues cropping up over the years.
Last week, even Bush joined the chorus of those demanding Snipes be removed from her position.
“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,” the former governor wrote on Twitter.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Kyle Swenson