Broward County Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes appears to be promoting her re-election campaign with literature purchased by Broward County taxpayers. On Friday evening, Snipes attended the Emerge USA political candidate forum in Sunrise, Florida. Snipes and her challenger, David Brown, had a few minutes to address the audience.
While Snipes spoke, Fred Bellis, one of her chief lieutenants at SOE, recorded her speech. Snipes’ use of SOE employees at campaign events has come under fire before. Bellis was sporting a Snipes campaign sticker.
In a table at the back of the room, candidates placed their mailers and palm cards for attendees to take. Nearly all of these pieces were paid for with campaign funds.
Except for the literature placed on table by Snipes.
Snipes placed sample ballots printed by the Supervisor of Elections office. Snipes gets money to print these sample ballots from Broward County taxpayers, not campaign donors and lobbyists.
The pieces used by Snipes are intended to educate voters about the candidates and issues on the August ballot. It is not supposed to promote Snipes’ re-election.
Snipes’ campaign did not present any other pieces of campaign literature.
Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes is being sued in Federal court for failing to maintain accurate voter rolls. Broward resident Andrea Bellitto and the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) are suing Snipes for violations of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Snipes is facing re-election in November.
The Plaintiffs claim Snipes, “has a federal obligation to maintain accurate and current voter rolls which contain the names of only eligible voters residing in Broward County.” The ACRU alleges Snipes has allowed Broward voter rolls to contain more names than the number of eligible residents. They claim US Census data proves their case.
According to publicly available data disseminated by the United States Census Bureau and the federal Election Assistance Commission, over the past several election cycles the voter rolls maintained by Defendant have contained either more total registrants than eligible voting-age citizens or, at best, an implausibly high number of registrants. According to this data, at the time of the 2014 general election, approximately 103% of the citizens of voting age were registered to vote and could cast a ballot in Broward County.
The ACRU claims Snipes received information on more than 200 residents from the Wynmoor retirement community who have died or no longer live there. Plaintiffs say Snipes has done nothing with thise information.
Defendant is responsible for allowing this circumstance to occur and persist. By failing to implement a program which takes reasonable steps to cure these circumstances, Defendant has violated NVRA and other federal list maintenance statutes.
The ACRU states Snipes’ inaction “has undermined the confidence of Florida’s properly registered voters… in the integrity of the voter registration rolls and, accordingly, has undermined the integrity of elections held across the State of Florida.”
In a February 2016 to the ACRU, Snipes claimed “[a]t no time during my tenure, which began in November 2003, has the number of registered voters outnumbered the live persons residing in Broward County.”
You can read the full lawsuit here.
David Brown, Democrat candidate for Broward Supervisor of Elections, isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to the performance of his opponent. At a recent candidate forum in Plantation, Brown was highly-critical of Dr. Brenda Snipes’ performance of her official duties. Snipes was not present at the forum.
Brown blamed Snipes for Broward’s low voter turnout rates. He blasted Snipes’ acceptance of a $16,000 raise, vowing to decline any increase in salary until the turnout rate increases to the statewide average. Brown said Snipes has dropped the ball with early voting as well.
Brown said there is insufficient parking at early voting sites in western Broward. He said poll workers told him voters leave without casting a ballot because they cannot find a parking space at the Cooper City library.
Brown said Snipes was wrong to tout her early voting location at the the Coral Ridge Mall as a success. He said the Fort Lauderdale shopping center closed its doors an hour before voting was scheduled to end.
Brown said voters we left banging on doors on Sunday evening.
David Brown took a swipe at Snipes’ in-house lawyer, Burnadette Norris-Weeks for supporting local candidates.