Embattled Broward Elections Official Resigns

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Dr. Brenda C. Snipes, the embattled Broward County supervisor of elections whom President Trump called out for what he described as “the Broward effect” in Florida’s recent elections, has submitted her resignation. It takes effect on Jan. 4.

“Although I have enjoyed this work tremendously over these many election cycles, both large and small, I am ready to pass the torch,” Snipes said in a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday that was made public Monday morning. “It has been my passion and honor to serve as the supervisor for Broward County voters.”

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The retired elementary school principal has lived in the county since 1964, when she and her husband traded Alabama’s Heart of Dixie for Florida’s endless palm trees and coastline. She had enjoyed a 15-year run as elections supervisor.

During her 2016 re-election bid, Snipes was photographed waving to supporters and riding atop an open convertible.

But her fortunes changed in the days since the Nov. 6 election as Snipes became the focus of criticism for her handling of the election returns. Broward reported thousands of additional votes after Election Day, leading to persistent protests outside Snipes’ Lauderhill, Florida offices and calls for her to step down or be fired.

On Saturday, Snipes acknowledged that her office misplaced more than 2,000 ballots during the recount.

“They got intermingled with the other ballots when we were doing the recount,” Snipes told reporters.

Eerily reminiscent of the hanging chad debacle of the Bush-Gore era, dozens of peaceful protesters carrying signs that read “Lock her up,” “Don’t Steal My Election” and “Fake Votes”sprang up outside her offices while Snipes and her staff painstakingly went over ballots inside.

“All of a sudden they’re finding votes out of nowhere,” the president told a group of reporters outside the White House prior to the start of Florida’s recount. “There’s bad things that have gone on in Broward County — really bad things.”

While there was no hard evidence to support the president’s theory, Snipes played into the narrative of incompetence when her staff worked for days last week on a machine recount of three key statewide races only to submit the results two minutes too late to be counted.

“It has been my passion and honor to serve as the supervisor of elections for Broward County voters,” Snipes said in her resignation letter. “When I was appointed to this position on Nov. 20, 2003, my initial commitment was to serve out the remaining term of office and pass the torch to the person who would be elected in the next election cycle. Needless to say, that was almost 15 years ago.”

Snipes hinted last week that she may resign or choose not to seek re-election to another term after the recount was completed. That ended at noon Sunday.

“I have taken responsibility for every act in this office — good, bad or indifferent,” Snipes told reporters following the missed deadline to submit her county’s machine recount. “I have always held myself accountable.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dr. Brenda Snipes, Broward County Supervisor of Elections, makes a statement during a canvassing board meeting. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images).

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