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Broward Elections Supervisor Snipes Says She May Not Seek Reelection

Miami Herald
Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda C. Snipes at her offices in Lauderhill, Florida, as the canvassing board reviews ballots on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018.

Broward County's embattled elections supervisor said on Tuesday she may not seek another term in office. 

The target of heavy criticism since Election Day, Brenda Snipes said "it is time to move on" from her post. She added that her decision is not final and she has to speak with her family about it.

Read more: Broward County Finally Begins Ballot Recount After Three-Day Delay

"I think I have served the purpose that I came for, which is to provide a credible election product for our voters," said Snipes, whose current term runs through 2020. 

The announcement came after a reporter ask her about a tweet from former Gov. Jeb Bush, who initially appointed her in 2003. His tweet said she has undermined confidence in the elections process and called for her removal from office. 

Snipes said she can't do anything about Bush's opinion, adding that she has worked tirelessly over the last 15 years for the voters of Broward County. Snipes—who has been elected four times—questioned why her office also seems to receive negative attention.

"It's unfortunate that we have had many issues that have gotten continuous and expanded publicity," she said. "Many supervisors' offices have various types of incidents occur."

Snipes, a Democrat, has run some smoothe elections over her 15-year tenure. Still, critics have pounced on several mistakes her office has made this election and in past years.  

On Saturday, Snipes included 22 improperly-cast ballots in its final results sent to the Secretary of State, fueling calls from Republicans for the state to take over her office. In a lawsuit on Friday, a judge also said she violated public records laws and ordered her to release to Gov. Rick Scott's Senate campaign vote tabulations. 

Earlier in May, another judge ruled she broke state and federal laws when she destroyed ballots cast during a 2016 congressional race involving Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Snipes has said the move was inadvertent. 

The mishaps have led to protests against her in recent days outside the elections office. And demonstrators and other Republican politicians, including Scott and President Donald Trump, now say she's stealing the election for Democrats—although the state says there is no evidence of such fraud. 

"I don't have a treasure trove for going out and digging on the beach or somewhere to find any votes," Snipes said. 

Scott could remove Snipes if he wants to. The move would be unusual. But Bush set a precedent for it in 2003 when he dismissed Snipes' predecessor, Miriam Oliphant, for what he called malfeasance.

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