The Broward County Election Swamp
Since Election Day, the eyes of the nation have been on Broward County. While all other counties in Florida completed their counting of ballots, Broward continued finding new ballots to be counted, nearly swinging the election results for U.S. Senate and Florida Governor from Republicans to Democrats. Now there’s a state-wide machine recount, and the likelihood of lawsuits and possible hand recounts.
It’s been more than a year since we discovered that Brenda Snipes, the Broward Supervisor of Elections, illegally destroyed all the ballots cast in our 2016 primary against Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The news media refused to cover the story. If not for this double-trainwreck that landed in Broward, with both Governor and Senate races hanging in the balance, the media blackout would have continued. Instead, because of her role in the middle of the contested races for Governor and Senator, the mainstream media is finally asking questions about Snipes.
I warned for months that the failure to remove Snipes and her cronies from office would undermine public trust and result in continuing election irregularities, frauds, and illegal conduct. Since Election Day, I have heard from countless Broward residents from across the political spectrum expressing the same view, that they have lost faith and confidence in Broward election results, from non-partisan city commission and judicial elections to primaries and Congressional elections. Many ran for office as outsiders fighting for clean government, and now are horrified to see the level of corruption in our elections.
Two years ago, I first sought to inspect the ballots cast in our 2016 primary in an effort to verify the vote. Instead, we discovered that Snipes and one of her directors, Dozel Spencer, conspired to obstruct justice and tamper with evidence. This is not a theory, but an actual conspiracy that was established by a mountain of evidence discovered in our public records lawsuit against Snipes. In sworn videotaped depositions, Snipes and Spencer admitted to the ballot destruction.
The Florida Circuit Court then granted us summary judgment in a 10-page order finding that Snipes obstructed justice, lied to the court, illegally tampered with evidence, and violated numerous state and federal criminal statutes, some punishable as felonies.
I reached out to Florida Governor Rick Scott months ago, as well as Democratic and Republican party officials, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. None responded, no one saw fit to investigate, and Republican Rick Scott failed to remove Snipes from office, an abdication of his responsibility as Governor to uphold the rule of law and protect us from official corruption.
The journalist Chris Hedges has said that the corruption today is so bad that they don’t even try to hide it. Barely a week before the recent election, Snipes campaigned openly with Wasserman Schultz. And why not, she had already destroyed ballots with impunity. I warned for months that if her crimes went unpunished, Snipes would have every incentive to engage in future illegal conduct and rig another election against us. The burden should not be on campaigns like ours to prove fraud when someone with Snipes’ record is left in charge of elections.
Snipes and her top staff should have been prosecuted months ago. Allowing someone with her record of lawlessness to continue supervising the recent primary and general election taints all those results by creating “incurable uncertainties” about the election outcomes. That’s why a growing number of Broward residents and former candidates are now arguing that recent election results from the primary and general elections should be invalidated, and that the courts should order new elections with appropriate safeguards – namely, hand-marked paper ballots that are counted by hand in public.
Our campaign has also uncovered other disturbing irregularities in the recent election. One campaign volunteer smelled a rat on Election night, and took video on her smart phone of a line of private vehicles driving up and transferring the blue satchels containing paper ballots to a rented truck.
The ballots should have been in the possession of two people at all times. They were not. In addition, the ballots should have been transferred only to a sheriff’s deputy who should have signed a receipt for the ballots. None of this happened, which destroys the “chain-of-custody” of the ballots and casts doubt on any potential paper ballot recount.
Like many other candidates who have lost under highly suspicious circumstances, we are still assessing our options moving forward. One thing is certain, whatever happens to our campaign, we will continue calling for Snipes and her staff to be removed from office and prosecuted for their crimes. The criminal justice system must be used to clean up the swamp in the Broward elections office.
Many of you have asked what more you can do to help. If you live in Broward County and you observed any election irregularities, please contact our campaign as soon as possible. Please share the information we’ve been posting on our social media, as well as our email communications to you. Lastly and most importantly, our efforts to fight this corruption have cost all of us dearly. Please donate here whatever you can to help us retire our campaign debt, which will enable us to move forward quickly in our fight for election integrity.
Sadly, what has been happening here in Broward County, with election officials breaking the law with impunity, could happen almost anywhere in the country. Our fight is your fight, and we will keep on fighting.