When I saw the headline in the Sun Sentinel I thought Snipes was resigning from her job, but that’s not the case, unfortunately. Still, it’s clear the criticism she’s receiving is getting to her. Yesterday, Jeb Bush, the man who initially put her in the job, suggested she should be removed from office as soon as recounts are finished:
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
Today, Snipes was asked about that comment from the former Governor:
Asked about that tweet, Snipes, 75, responded, “He did post me here for a year and then I liked it and so I ran and I was re-elected four times. But it is time to move on … I think I have served the purpose that I came here for, which was to provide a credible election product for our members.”…
Asked specifically whether she would run for re-election in 2020, Snipes responded, “I haven’t finalized that. I’ll just check with my family they’ll tell me what I’m doing.”
That assumes Snipes, who makes $178,865 a year, would be allowed to finish out her term. Bush’s removal of Oliphant in 2003 was unusual — the governor ordinarily removes elected officials from office only if they have been arrested or charged with serious ethical violations, not over issues of competence. Nevertheless, that removal has set a precedent that a sitting elections chiefs can be removed by the governor for failing to do their jobs.
The current chairman of the Broward Republican Party tells the Sun Sentinel, “She should be encouraged to resign at this point.” As Ed noted Monday, it seems likely that if she doesn’t offer to resign she’s going to be pushed out relatively soon, either by current Governor Rick Scott or presumed incoming Governor Ron DeSantis.
There’s good reason for that that goes beyond her current inability to follow Florida law. The Sun Sentinel has previously published this list of electoral problems in Broward County since Snipes was appointed (and subsequently elected four times).
- A court ruled she had broken election law when she destroyed ballots from the 2016 election 12 months after it, instead of the 22 months required by federal law.
- A medical marijuana amendment was left off some ballots in 2016.
- Election results in the 2016 primary were posted on the elections office’s website before polls closed, another violation of election law.
- In 2012, almost 1,000 uncounted ballots were discovered a week after the election
- In 2004, some 58,000 mail-in ballots were not delivered to voters, leaving election officials to scramble to send new ones.
That’s not a record that should inspire much loyalty or sympathy for Snipes. She said yesterday that she was confident her office would meet the current recount deadline. I guess we’ll know Thursday if she was right about that.