Last week, the Federal lawsuit brought against Brenda Snipes by the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) wrapped up in Miami. The case is now in the hands of US Federal Court Judge Beth Bloom. However, Snipes' legal trouble over her handling of Broward elections is far from over.
In an interview with REDBROWARD, Broward Republican Party Chairman Robert Sutton discusses the lawsuit brought against Snipes by the Republican Party Of Florida. The case is being heard in Broward County Circuit Court.
Last Wednesday, Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) Chairman Robert Sutton met with White House officials to discuss how local Republicans can help further the agenda of President Donald Trump. The delegation included Sutton, his wife Teresa, BREC Vice Chair Celeste Ellich, SWBRO President Jay Narang and Republican Party of Florida Director of Party Development Brooke Renney. (This reporter also attended the meeting with The White House Office of Political Affairs). In addition to the meetings, the Broward delegation received tours of The White House, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the Rayburn House Office Building, the Longworth House Office Building, and the U.S. Capitol Building.
With the assistance of Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Brian Mast and Congressman Ron DeSantis, the Broward Republicans were able to watch the U.S. Senate debate the repeal of Obamacare from the Senate gallery. From the House of Representatives gallery, members of the Broward delegation witnessed Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Out Of Touch) declare her opposition to an important defense spending bill. But the real highlight of the trip came when First Lady Melania Trump greeted Chairman Sutton and the other Broward Republicans. You can view highlights of trip by clicking here.
The Republican Party Of Florida filed a lawsuit against Broward Supervisor Of Elections Brenda Snipes over vote by mail issues during the November election. The lawsuit, filed late Friday in Broward County Circuit Court, alleges Snipes’ office did not follow proper procedures in the canvassing of vote by mail ballots.
The lawsuit states most large county canvassing board convened on October 24, 2016 to canvass the vote by mail ballots. The suit alleges Broward did not convene its canvassing board until November 7, 2016, one day before the election.
The lawsuit alleges Snipes failed to “safely keep” vote by mail ballots “unopened” until November 7th by allowing Broward SOE staffers to open ballots, remove them from their mailing envelopes, and remove the ballots from their secrecy envelopes before they were canvassed by the Broward County canvassing board.
The RPOF lawsuit claims Snipes “authorized her staff to process and electronically tabulate marked vote by mail ballots before they were canvassed by the Broward County canvassing board” which deprived the RPOF and its members and candidates of their statutory right to challenge any vote by mail ballot believed to be illegal.
When RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia complained to Snipes, she allowed a Republican Party member to observe the process. But Snipes refused to “alter her office’s practice of opening and processing” ballots before they are reviewed by the canvassing board.
The RPOF is seeking a declaratory judgment as well as temporary and permanent injunctive relief. The Party wants a Broward Judge to declare Snipes “has no legal authority” to open vote by mail ballots before they are canvassed by the Broward County Canvassing Board. Also, the RPOF wants Snipes to safely keep all ballots unopened in her office until they are canvassed by the Broward County Canvassing Board.
The RPOF wants a judge to declare the RPOF has a right to to review a vote by mail affidavit for defects before the ballot is removed from the envelope and the Party, members and candidates have right to file a protest before the ballot is removed from the envelope.
The lawsuit was filed by Daniel Nordby, an attorney with Shutts & Bowen. Read the lawsuit here.