Florida Man and Florida Woman remain two of the more lovable non-superheroes on social media. They always seem to be getting up to some sort of hijinks which never work out very well in the end. But now they appear to have made the jump into the political arena. Apparently the state of the electoral system in Broward County (famously the home of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) is dire and may be under attack. Is it the Russians? Some angry white nationalists? Nope. Turns out that the Democrats have been accused of destroying disputed ballots from Wasserman-Schultz’s primary race in 2016. Things are bad enough that state election monitors are being sent to Broward County to keep an eye on their process. And there are more problems where that one came from. (Politico)
The elections supervisor in Florida’s second-most populous county broke state and federal law by unlawfully destroying ballots cast in Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s 2016 Democratic primary, a judge ruled Friday in a case brought by the congresswoman’s challenger who wanted to check for voting irregularities.
In light of the ruling, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration — which has expressed concerns with how Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes has handled the case — told POLITICO that he’s reviewing the judge’s order and will have her office monitored.
“During the upcoming election, the Department of State will send a Florida elections expert from the Division of Elections to Supervisor Snipes’ office to ensure that all laws are followed so the citizens of Broward County can have the efficient, properly run election they deserve,” Scott’s office said in a written statement.
All of the controversy is centered around the office of Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes. In the 2016 Democratic primary, Wasserman-Schultz was facing a challenge from law professor Tim Canova. When the results of the vote came out looking rather “improbable” in the opinion of some observers, Canova went to court to ask that the voting records be inspected for any irregularities. After Snipes initially tried to charge Canova’s attorneys thousands of dollars to look at these records, a stalemate appeared to set in. But in November of last year, Snipes filed a document saying that she had destroyed all of the paper ballots from the race.
That not only comes off terribly in terms of optics, but it’s also flatly illegal. As Politico pointed out, federal law requires the ballots from federal races to be kept for at least 22 months. Further, Florida state law says that ballots which are being disputed can’t be destroyed without a judge’s order. So this was a rather large Bozo No-No on a couple of counts.
Does this mean that Snipes was definitely up to no good? Maybe not, but you have to wonder how she still has a job after such a debacle. And the fact that Florida is having to send in election monitors to Broward County can’t be inspiring much confidence in the voters.