Embattled Broward elections chief says she may step down after recount

'It is time to move on,' Brenda Snipes tells reporters

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

LAUDERHILL, Fla. - Brenda Snipes said Tuesday that she's considering stepping aside as Broward County supervisor of elections after the recount, amid a firestorm of criticism over how her office has handled recent elections.

"It is time to move on," Snipes said. "I haven’t finalized that. I'll just check with my family. They'll tell me what I’m doing."

Many Republicans, including former Gov. Jeb Bush, who appointed Snipes in 2002, have called in recent days for Snipes to be fired. 

"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," Bush wrote on Twitter.

Broward County, a Democratic stronghold, has struggled to carry out the recount. Nearby Miami-Dade County is more than halfway through its recount while Broward has just started counting ballots. On Sunday and Monday, workers in Lauderhill were sorting and separating ballots before they began the tabulation.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's campaign is focused on the results of the recount in Broward because more than 20,000 people there voted in the governor's race, but did not vote in the U.S. Senate race.

Snipes' critics have blamed a bad ballot design, which placed the Senate race in the bottom left corner of the page below the voting instructions. The Nelson campaign is hoping the vote discrepancy is a counting error rather than a ballot design issue.

In the Senate race, Republican Gov. Rick Scott was ahead of Nelson statewide by 12,562 votes, a margin of 0.15 percentage points.

Protesters rallied outside the office of the Broward County supervisor of elections for a third day on Sunday.

Snipes critics have also pointed to an incident in 2016, in which her office destroyed ballots in a congressional race against a judge's order. Scott has filed multiple lawsuit against Snipes' office, saying Broward officials have not been transparent enough during the recount process.

Many protesters who have gathered outside the office of the supervisor of elections in recent days have focused their ire on Snipes, who they say is corrupt.

Broward County was also at the center of controversies in the 2000 recount of the presidential race.

"It's unfortunate that we have had some issues that have continued and expanded publicity," Snipes said. "Many election supervisors have various kinds of issues that occur, but ours always get the spotlight. I don't know why we get a big spotlight more than some."

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