Broward County Is Corrupt

December 1st, 2018 | T. Carter
broward county

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” —Ian Fleming

Few counties in America have ever faced as many electoral mishaps and controversies as Broward County in Florida. Had Broward County only been the center of the 2000 Bush vs. Gore controversy, we would not be talking about Broward County right now. Over the past fifteen years, Broward's election supervisor, Brenda Snipes, has overseen three significant voting controversies that have raised eyebrows and the ire of Republicans in the heavy, deep blue Florida county. Although Snipes alone cannot be held to blame for the dysfunction and latent corruption that has evidently taken hold of Broward County since the 2000 presidential election, her leadership must be put under severe scrutiny.

The 2000 Presidential Election

The first major controversy to put Broward County in the news was the 2000 presidential race, which saw George W. Bush beat Al Gore by just a few votes more than 500 in the whole state of Florida. In Broward County, Gore beat Bush by the usual margins of 67-31 percent, or 209,821 votes. Those results were nothing out of the ordinary in the deep blue county, but it was the controversies and hanging chads that would eventually cast doubt and suspicions on Broward County that year.

As in 2018's Florida Senate and Gubernatorial races, Broward County was one the slowest, least transparent and suspicious counties involved in the Florida recount of 2000.

Going into the recount, Al Gore was behind Bush by nearly 1,000 votes. This was after Miami-Dade had finished their own recount, concluding that Gore would not make up enough votes in their county to significantly change the outcome. Following the heated and often nasty recount process, which was later stopped in the Supreme Court, Gore had managed to pick up nearly 500 extra votes from Broward County.

Broward's increase for Gore was reported in the New York Times on November 24, 2000, before the final count was officially achieved:

As Palm Beach County's elections canvassing board took the day off for Thanksgiving, and with Miami-Dade County no longer in the equation, Mr. Gore's hopes settled today on Broward County, where election officials began to hand-count 1,800 ballots with dimpled chads or other unclear signs of the voters' intent.

Mr. Gore, who went into today's recount trailing Gov. George W. Bush of Texas by the official tally of 930 votes in the race for Florida's all-deciding 25 electoral votes, has managed to pick up only 88 net votes so far from the disputed ballots now under review. In all, Mr. Gore has gained 225 votes in the Broward County recount.

When all was finished, Bush's lead narrowed significantly and there is no telling what may have changed had the recount not been stopped. All of this resulted in a high profile 2003 shake-up which would see Brenda Snipes take over the role of election supervisor in Broward County.

Brenda Snipes: Once

The first controversy that should have resulted in Snipes losing her job happened during the 2004 presidential race which saw George W. Bush fight for a second term against John Kerry. Due to Broward County's standing as a heavy, blue Democrat county, the consensus among media and analysts has been that Snipe's 2004 mishap damaged John Kerry's chances in Florida—but no evidence ever emerged to prove that.

When ballots go missing, no one can know for sure who a majority of those ballots were cast for. Such happened in 2004, when Broward County managed to lose more than 58,000 absentee ballots under Brenda Snipes' supervision.

To highlight the significance of this situation, we must look at what Snipes was accused of in 2016—twelve years later. In 2016's presidential race, Florida Republicans accused Snipes of opening and examining thousands of absentee ballots. Her office was, in fact, later found guilty of illegally destroying 6,000 ballots. Now, rewinding back to 2004, shall we assume the same? The question of whether Brenda Snipes snooped through thousands of ballots in 2004 before they mysteriously went missing is a valid one. The question of whether those 58,000 missing ballots would have helped John Kerry win may never be proven—particularly if Brenda Snipes and her employees had a look at them before they went missing.

To note, many of these are still allegations which cannot be proven, including the allegations that Snipes snooped through thousands of ballots in 2016—and my assumption that, if true, she would have been capable of doing the same just twelve years earlier.  

Brenda Snipes: Twice

As I have pointed out in my previous piece, “How To Rig An American Election”, many Americans were not surprised to see Broward County be the very last county to report results in Florida on election night in 2016. But, that was not the end of it.

Brenda Snipes was later accused of sorting through thousands of Congressional ballots and then found guilty of illegally destroying more than 6,000 of them. In an attempt to unseat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz,Tim Canova sued Snipes' office after Snipes failed to meet his request to have a viewing of the paper ballots cast in Broward County. Snipes had the ballots destroyed illegally before Canova could view them and she was later found guilty of breaking state and federal laws. When asked why she ordered the ballots destroyed almost six months after Canova made his request, she called it a mistake.

The 6,000 ballots would not have been enough for Canova to beat Wasserman-Schultz, as he lost by a large margin of more than 28,000 votes—but, at this point, who could possibly trust Broward County at all?

Brenda Snipes: Thrice

Here we are again, facing yet more shenanigans in Broward County—under the supervision of Brenda Snipes. Had Broward County had a new elections supervisor by now, we would not need to be having this conversation. However, Brenda Snipes finds herself engulfed in the third major scandal of her fifteen-year career.

Called out by everyone from Marco Rubio, the RNC and Fox News, Brenda Snipes has become a household name in America over the past month since the Midterm elections—when the scandal exploded, just days after I wrote about her in “How To Rig An American Election”. This time, however, in her third attempt, she failed to alter the outcome of another US election.

Like in the 2016 presidential election, Broward County was one of the last to report results and one the few counties that refused to follow federal and state election laws during the recount process. Rick Scott, Florida's former governor, eventually won the tight Senate race—but only after successfully suing Snipes to release voter information and after having more than 15,000 votes skimmed off of his lead.

Even CNN and Democrats were forced to talk about Broward County's troubled history with slow counting and controversy when covering the latest scandal involving Brenda Snipes:

The primary reasons Snipes has become a target is because her office been marred by legal questions and slow vote-counting for years, a fact that even state Democrats admit.

"Brenda makes herself an easy target because she has a spotty track record and Broward is such a beast to administer," said a top Democratic official in Florida, citing the fact that Broward is home to nearly 2 million people.

But even when trying to defend her, Democrats are unable to get over the fact that she isn't the best messenger for them.

Just like all the other times, ballots went missing this time too. More than 2,000 ballots vanished during the Broward County recount, raising even more red flags. Together with Snipes refusing to release records and refusing to allow scrutineers to do their jobs, more missing ballots add to the theory that Broward County was up to no-good and possibly attempting to unsuccessfully fix another close race in favor of Democrats.

From the Sun Sentinel on November 17:

Broward County’s ballot recount hit yet another snag Saturday with 2,040 ballots lost or misplaced.

The county’s eternally beleaguered Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes said they either misplaced, misfiled or mixed in with another stack.

One thing she said she was sure of: “The ballots are in this building.”

There would be nowhere else for them to be,” Snipes said. “The ballots are in the building. The ballots are in the building.”

With a noon Sunday deadline looming, the three-person Canvassing Board was nonplussed and uncertain what to do.

We are concerned with the ramifications of failing to complete this task,” said Broward County Judge Betsy Benson, a member of the board. “But we don’t want to disenfranchise 714,859 voters at the expense of 2,000 voters.”

We cannot help but wonder if Broward County would have been successful in fixing the Senate and Governor races in 2018 had media attention not been so prevalent and focused on Brenda Snipes and her history of incompetence. Had conservatives and Republicans not been so vigilant, could Brenda Snipes have successfully stolen the election from Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis?

The nerve of Brenda Snipes, however, is unquestionable. Not only has she remained defiant through the entire process and about her plagued record, she went as far as to call criticisms of her “racist”. Snipes and Democrats expect Americans to simply disregard her spotty and shady reputation as an elections supervisor and believe that criticisms about her competence and intentions are due to racism. The nerve and audacity is stunning, to say the least.

Criticisms about Brenda Snipes have nothing to do with racism. They are legitimate and based solely on her history of losing ballots, obstructing scrutiny and missing deadlines—not once, but repeatedly throughout her fifteen-year career in Broward County.

Brenda Snipes has made the right decision to resign and Democrats must stop playing the race card when they are caught red-handed. Voters in Broward County need to wake up, or whoever replaces Snipes will be just as bad.