News that embattled Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes was responsible for failing to segregate 20 illegal votes from a batch of approximately 205 — rendering all ballots in the batch spoiled — was described in a Miami Herald headline as a mistake worthy of a “whoops!” as Hot Air details.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air castigated Miami Herald writer Alex Harris for framing a serious electoral offense as a “humorous pratfall” in an effort to obfuscate a litany of alleged incompetence and outright obstruction by Broward County elections officials, Snipes included. Morrissey instead suggests that there are only two possibilities for the election supervisor’s behavior.
The first, Morrissey puts forth, is simply a matter of rank incompetence. “How tough was it to set aside the 20 invalid ballots in a manner where they weren’t confused with the rest? It would only take a little physical separation to keep the two sets separate. Even a child could manage that task. At best this is rank incompetence.” However, the Hot Air writer elaborates on the second possibility, that Snipes deliberately sought to evade the signature requirement on ballots — a security feature meant to reduce or minimize voter fraud.
In fact, Snipes — who has sat on the Broward County elections committee for some time, having held her office since 2003, per Fox News — has a long and storied history of controversy surrounding her job performance. As the Sun-Sentinel reports, Circuit Judge Raag Singhal ruled earlier this year that Snipes had illegally destroyed ballots pertaining to the race between Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her opponent, Tim Canova, during the heated 2016 presidential election.
Citing the fact that the ballots in question were only retained for 12 months versus the 22 required by law in a federal election — and the fact that the ballots were the subject of an ongoing lawsuit at the time of their destruction — Judge Singhal ruled that Snipes “has not presented any evidence refuting that the public records sought were destroyed while this case was pending before this court.”
Singhal would later deliver a second ruling against Snipes on the subject of her opening mail-in ballots with no other witnesses present, a separate piece of reporting from the Sun-Sentinel relays. Both rulings have been appealed, without resolution.
The media circus surrounding the results from Broward County continues to ramp up as Snipes has most recently refused to accede to a judge’s order that she surrender the voter’s records which she has been handling, ABC affiliate WBPF25 reports. A Broward County judge — Circuit Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips, according to the Miami Herald — had ordered Snipes to “allow immediate inspection of voter records by 7 p.m. Friday, which she had previously refused to do.”
It is unclear, as of the writing of this article, whether Snipes has complied with the request made by Judge Phillips.