Broward County elections supervisor explains why it's taking so long to count ballots

'Don't try to turn it around to make it seem like I'm making comedy out of this'

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - As Broward County appears to be at the epicenter of another recount, Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes is on the defensive about how her office has handled Tuesday's election results.

Snipes, who has been at the helm of Broward County elections since 2003, had a testy exchange with Local 10 News investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier during an interview Thursday.

The embattled elections supervisor was surprised by reporters as she stepped out of a bathroom and asked about the status of the recount.

"Could I please get a moment to go into the room and find out?" Snipes asked the group huddled around her. "OK, when I come back I'll let you know."

"But, Dr. Snipes, it is now Thursday," Weinsier said. "We are still counting ballots in Broward County."

"We're counting five pages or six pages for each of the people who voted," Snipes said.

"But other counties have been able to do it," Weinsier said.

"But other counties didn't have 600,000 votes out there," Snipes shot back.

"Well, Miami-Dade did," Weinsier said.

"Well, have you been inside my -- never mind, let me go check. I'll check," Snipes said.

"But it's a serious issue. It always seems like…" Weinsier said before Snipes interrupted him.

"It's a serious issue with me," she told him. "I've been doing this now since Oct. 22."

"But if it's a serious issue with you…" Weinsier said, only to be interrupted again.

"We ran 22 sites, we ran 14 days, we ran 12 hours, we had a big vote by mail (during early voting), so don't try to turn it around to make it seem like I'm making comedy out of this," Snipes replied.

Then Snipes walked away.

She later confirmed that 205 provisional ballots in the county are being looked at Thursday by a canvassing board. 

This isn't the first time Snipes has come under scrutiny for her office's seemingly mismanagement of ballots.

In the November 2016 general election, a small number of ballots were mailed to voters without the state's medical marijuana referendum. Then, during the primary election months earlier, early results were posted about 30 minutes before polls closed, violating state law.

Earlier this year a circuit court judge ruled that Snipes broke federal and state law by too quickly destroying ballots from the August 2016 primaries, even though there was a pending lawsuit seeking access to the ballots.

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