Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to Receive Nearly $130,000 a Year

By Zachary Stieber

Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, who submitted a resignation letter shortly after the midterm elections and whose office violated state law, federal law, and Florida’s Constitution, will get a pension of nearly $130,000 a year.

That includes a state pension of $58,560 a year that Snipes was already receiving from her earlier career as an educator.

Adding to that pension will be nearly $71,000 Snipes receives for her time in elected office, reported the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Snipes will get the money after state officials threatened to fire her but she appeared to pre-empt them by submitting her resignation before they could.

Florida state Senate President Bill Galvano told Politico before she resigned that he planned to launch an investigation into Snipes.

“What she’s demonstrated over the years is a series of mistakes that rise above the level of negligence and into incompetence,” Galvano said. “We can’t continue to keep ignoring this and every option should be on the table.”

Dr. Brenda Snipes, Broward County Supervisor of Elections
Dr. Brenda Snipes, Broward County supervisor of elections, makes a statement during a Lauderhill, Fla., canvassing board meeting on Nov. 10, 2018. (Joe Skipper/Getty Images)

Big Problems

During the recount of the Nov. 6 midterms in Florida, which included a U.S. Senate race and the governor’s race, Snipes’s office was rife with problems. Two problems: Thousands of ballots went missing during the recount and her office missed the state deadline by two minutes, invalidating the recount.

Another issue was Snipes violating a state law that requires counties to update vote tallies every 45 minutes, then suddenly uploading tens of thousands of new ballots, most of which went for Democrat Bill Nelson, who was running to keep his U.S. Senate seat.

Snipes also illegally mixed in rejected ballots with good ballots. In the primary election earlier in the year, she illegally destroyed ballots, violating federal law and a court order.

In 2012, almost 1,000 uncounted ballots in Broward were discovered in the county a week after the election and in 2004, her office said 58,000 absentee ballots were lost.

Elections staff load ballots into machines
Elections staff load ballots into machines as recounting begins at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office in Lauderhill, Fla., on Nov. 11, 2018. (Joe Skipper/Getty Images)

‘Excessively Compensated’

“It really raises the question, on top of everything else, why she’s being excessively compensated for doing a poor job. That’s the added insult to injury,” Dominic Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan government watchdog group, told the Sun-Sentinel.

“It just leaves additional salt in the wound,” he said.

He noted that most private companies don’t give such generous exit packages.

Snipes, 75, was an educator for 35 years before being named supervisor in Broward County by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003.

Resignation

In her resignation letter, Snipes said that she initially planned to only serve out the remaining term of office after being appointed by Bush. “Although I have enjoyed this work tremendously over these many election cycles … I am ready to pass the torch,” she said.

The resignation will take effect on Jan. 4, 2019, she said.

President Donald Trump repeatedly slammed Florida for its recount issues, claiming that the elections there were being stolen. Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis ended up winning the elections for U.S. Senate and governor, respectively, by small margins. The Senate race went through two recounts and the governor’s race went through one.

On Nov. 27, Trump took a jab at Snipes, saying on Twitter: “Brenda Snipes, in charge of voting in Broward County, Florida, was just spotted wearing a beautiful dress with 300 I VOTED signs on it. Just kidding, she is a fine, very honorable and highly respected voting tactician!”