Another Broward SOE debacle – Vote by Mail ballot issues


It seems Broward Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes cannot get through a single election cycle without some degree of controversy. As usual Broward took longer to mail absentee ballots than most of Florida’s counties (and no doubt will be the last to fully process the results from VBM on Election Day) but once people opened the absentee ballot they got a big surprise.

The format of the ballot is reminiscent that of the infamous “butterfly ballot” in Palm Beach something I personally had much experience with. Unlike the “butterfly ballot” however, this effort by Dr, Snipes office was not designed to offer a bigger typeface or font in order assist voters in reading the ballot. Instead it merely appears to be another bureaucratic snafu from an office that has become  infamous for such problems. The idea behind this ballot was to cram enough information onto page 2 with a smaller typeface which could potentially create serious voter confusion.

As the graphic to the right demonstrates it will be easy for voters to make a mistake on the ballot initiatives since the re-authorization of the Children’s Services Council (CSC) falls right below Amendment 3 which activists in Broward as well as TFS are encouraging a “no” vote on. The CSC re-authorization which we support is on this page and not on the page which follows with all of the other local questions. Given the amount of remaining space on page 3 of the ballot, the decision of the SOE to cram the CSC onto the second page is quite baffling.

While this latest concern doesn’t rank at the top of the list of debacles created by Dr. Snipes office, in most counties it would lead to a major inquest of the supervisor’s office. However, in Broward most have come to expect some issues that reflect a level of poor planning and incompetence from the SOE.

With the District 2 County Commission race now tentatively set for a December primary after appearing wrongly on the August primary ballot, the SOE’s procedures and policies have come under greater scrutiny recently. It has been actively discussed that Dr. Snipes might retire in 2016. Whether she walks away from this job after well over a decade or not, the the operations of the SOE office is likely to be a major campaign issue in the next election cycle.


  1. concerned voter · · Reply

    Nailed it!

    SNIPES OUT!!!!!!


  2. I would actually argue this debacle is bigger than the others you have exposed in the past. If the children’s services council is not re-authorize it will have devastating consequences for this county. The reauthorization of the CSC is now in serious question because of the confusion created by the ballot.

    It is conceivable that enough voters will skip the question or be confused because of its proximity to amendment three that the wrong result will occur.


    1. The entire political class in Broward has protected her. Even though the activists have wanted her gone for years and she has worked hard to suppress turn out she is protected by other Democratic politicians. It is simply pathetic and not acceptable.

      Furthermore Bush knew what he was doing when he appointed her. African-American Democrat who would suppress voter turnout. Brilliant political strategy.


  3. Bruce Borkosky · · Reply

    A beginner graphic designer could have made it obvious which responses go with which questions. This is just lazy work – all supervisors use the same format, regardless of whether it works or not – just because – well, just because everyone else does it that way


  4. Snipes is a real problem. People seem to forget she was appointed by Jeb Bush. She has worked to suppress the vote as much as possible in Broward. If voter suppression is the goal she’s effectively the best republican in the state. No voter education programs less precinct access precinct redistricting without people knowing etc. etc. etc. she is terrible. So many Broward politicians were Democrats refuse to call her out.


  5. Concerned Democrat · · Reply

    Snipes office staff is rude, condescending and unprofessional most days of the week.


  6. Frayed Knot · · Reply

    I’ve had the opportunity to view the ballots in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. There is no comparison as to the quality of the two. Palm Beach’s was put together with our seniors in mind who are sometimes confused when different questions are put together too closely (circa 2000), and people who just want to vote without getting a headache. Dr. Snipes completely failed. Perhaps Susan Bucher needs to come down and school the good doctor.


    1. sandyo4era · · Reply

      “the ‘good’ doctor”? SHE OBVIOUSLY NEEDS TO BE FIRED as a fox in the henhouse. Why are Dems so wimpy in Broward?


  7. I just received my AB today. Regarding the format, It is possible for the parties to review the ballot format before it is finalized. The republicans always weigh in. To my knowledge, the Broward Democratic party only reviewed the prospective ballot once, when I did it in 2008. There are many ways the ballot could be improved, if only anyone cared ….


    1. sandyo4era · · Reply

      ….apparently Broward Dems do not ‘care’.


  8. Broward Voter · · Reply

    She is done one way or another.


    1. sandyo4era · · Reply

      Not unless you, Broward Voter, take up the issue and get rid of Snipes. Why are Broward Voters so wimpy?


  9. The Observer · · Reply

    The palm Beach County sample ballot came out with the words sample ballot in dark type over the language of some of the ballot initiatives. why was this not proof read ? Susan Booker would not go on camera and answer the reports questions.


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