While the vast majority of the midterm races are settled, a recount is underway in Florida for the U.S. Senate and governor positions, and all eyes are on south Florida’s Broward and Palm Beach Counties, where it appears that either utter incompetence, blatant fraud or some combination of the two have marred the ballot-counting process.
At the center of the controversy is Broward County’s Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes, who now faces calls for her resignation, if not termination, from the position she’s held since 2003. When a reporter confronted her with a resignation demand from the man who had first appointed her to that role, former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, Snipes herself admitted that “it is time to move on.”
Ironically, Bush had appointed her after the former supervisor was removed for “incompetence” and “misfeasance.”
Jeb says she’s gotta go
Bush tweeted on Monday, “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.”
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
Asked about Bush’s tweet on Tuesday, Snipes replied, “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,” she added. “I think I have served the purpose that I came here for, which was to provide a credible election product for our members.”
Still, when asked specifically if she planned to run for re-election yet again in 2020, Snipes was non-committal, suggesting she’d have to consult with her family first.
“Time to move on”
Of course, planning to run for re-election would be based on the presumption that she wasn’t first removed from office, which is increasingly looking to be a good possibility if she doesn’t voluntarily resign. Either outgoing Gov. Rick Scott or presumed incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis — two Republicans whose presumed victories on Election Day are in question largely due to Snipes and her office’s shenanigans — could remove her from office once the recount is complete.
Nor is Jeb Bush alone in calling for her resignation or removal. Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine said, “I think at this point she should probably think about retiring. She shouldn’t run the next election.”
Broward Republican Party chair and former state Rep. George Moraitis agreed, saying, “She should be encouraged to resign at this point. There’s been so many occasions now of problems. Our county means a lot to the state, even to the entire country, and we need someone who can manage the election. You can’t just let problems happen to you without being prepared.”
The Democrats can deny it all they want, but there is little question that Snipes’ actions have called into question the fairness and legitimacy of the elections she is charged with overseeing.
She has to go, whether by resignation or removal, sooner rather than later.