LISTEN LIVE

Broward Elections Chief Admits To 'Issues' With Ballot Counting, But Will Meet Deadline

Nov 13, 2018
Originally published on November 13, 2018 1:03 pm

Halfway through day two of Florida’s recount, Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes responded to the lawsuits filed against her.

“There have been issues that did not go the way we wanted, so we can call it a mistake, we can call it whatever you want to call it,” Snipes said to the press.

In days following the midterm election, the nation’s eyes have been on Snipes, who was accused of fraud by Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, and later President Donald Trump.

Scott filed a lawsuit against Snipes two days after the election, arguing that she lacked transparency in communicating ballot numbers.

“Every Floridian should be concerned there may be rampant fraud happening in both Palm Beach and Broward counties,” he said in a press conference.

The court ruled in favor of Scott, requiring Snipes to hand over tabulation numbers on Friday.

The Republican candidate running for Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, Matt Caldwell, also filed a complaint against Snipes. The lawsuit asked the court to ensure that any absentee ballots received after election night to be considered void, accusing Snipes of counting late votes.

Then the recount began.

Just one day in, Scott filed a second suit against Snipes, this time calling on law enforcement to impound and preserve all ballots and machines in Broward.

“As long as the Supervisor of Elections has unsupervised, unaccountable, an unfettered access to the ballot boxes, she will be able to destroy evidence of any errors, accidents, or unlawful conduct,” the lawsuit read.

When reporters asked Snipes about the lawsuit on the second day of Broward’s recount, she said this was the first she heard about it.

“It’s the times we live in, you certainly can’t stop anyone from filing a lawsuit,” Snipes said.

She didn’t directly say whether or not her office has made mistakes, but instead said if mistakes were made they “own” them.

Circuit court judge Jack Tuter compromised with Scott on Monday, ordering three extra officers to ensure security at the office. Tuter said there is not enough evidence was shown to impound ballots and machines.

“I’ve worked here for about 15 years, and I have to say, this is the first time that this office or I have been under such attacks,” she said. “We’re in an era where often times people speak without having verified the information, so I’m not sure where the president gets his information, I have not spoken to him,” she said.

Snipes presented a crate marked “provisional ballot box” that someone found a few days earlier. She said police investigated the contents and only found blank ballots and election supplies.

Snipes said she’s confident that Broward will meet the recount deadline.

Copyright 2018 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.