Dr. Brenda Snipes – Long a thorn in the side of dark blue Broward

Dr. Brenda Snipes – From Broward SOE

Jeb Bush appointee, Dr. Brenda Snipes, administrative incompetence, unwillingness to make voting more accessible to large numbers of Broward County residents without prodding from outside activists and other Democratic elected officials has long prevented Broward – the most Democratic metropolitan county in the southeast United States, from reaching its full potential.  Snipes administrative incompetence has been one thing but so has her unwillingness to use her office to aggressively register and educate voters. She’s been the most passive advocate for voting accessibility possible.  

Snipes has been a poor Supervisor of Elections and in 15 years the situation in Broward has degenerated to farcical levels. 

Below are excerpts from articles written about Dr. Snipes in 2014 on this site: 

In 2014, the Broward Supervisor of Elections (SOE) office was again the epicenter of controversy and ineptitude during the election cycle.  The elections office was a model of inefficiency in how ballots were decimated, candidate qualifying was handled and elections were conducted. The current SOE, Dr. Brenda Snipes has failed to work effectively with the County Commission regarding her budget and antiquated office space. Dr. Snipes has said the right things publicly, but every election cycle, Broward County gets it horribly wrong when compared to the rest of the state

Dr. Snipes replaced the controversial Miriam Oliphant, who from my vantage point made an effort to engage voters and reach new citizens. However, Ms. Oliphant was caught up in scandal on Primary Day 2002 (when several ballots went missing and were later found in a file cabinet) and was removed from office by Governor Bush in 2003. Dr. Snipes was appointed by Governor Bush to replace her and has been reelected three times. It is perhaps insignificant but worth noting that both Oliphant and Dr. Snipes are African-American.

But perhaps the biggest strike against Dr. Snipes has been registered this year in the debacle surrounding the District 2 County Commission race. The local campaign which was initially one of the highest profile August races in Florida’s second most-populated county has quick descended into a farce thanks largely to the SOE’s office lack of preparedness around the matter.

In a nutshell the eligibility over the write-in candidate and whether the race was simply a Democratic Primary or a General Election caused confusion. In fairness to Dr. Snipes, write-in candidacies have been abused routinely since 2002 when the current laws governing primary elections were first implemented. The loopholes around write-ins were quickly exploited by major party candidates and served to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Florida voters from choosing their county and state officials.

This all having been said, Dr. Snipes inability to prepare properly for the situation around the District 2 election and the invalidating of the primary election in August now followed by the race being taken off the November ballot is costing Broward taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and preventing District 2 residents (which include myself) from our proper representation on the Commission. An elections office has to be prepared for these sorts of circumstances. The lawsuit and controversy over  the District 2 race and a write-in candidate is not unprecedented in the post-2002 history of the state. But Broward’s SOE was unprepared for it, similarly to how more election day snafus and counting issues routinely seem to take place in Broward than any other major urban country in the state. The counting debacles and other errors during Dr. Snipes tenure were in many cases avoidable with better staff and more prepared poll workers.

Having an avoidable Special Election in District 2 is unacceptable. But given how poorly this situation has been handled, the bungling of the election means the scheduling of an expensive one-off Special Election was probably inevitable.

8 comments

  1. More racism from KK

    If it’s a white Democrat they’re good progressives.

    If it’s an African-American or Hispanic Democrat they’re corrupt.

    Anyone detect the pattern?

    Maybe Gillum would have as many votes as Nelson or Fried of racists like KK didn’t take Hamilton tickets and make it a scandal as big as Watergate!

    1. This is ridiculous. RE: Snipes, so many people among Democrats feel the same way I do. RE: Gillum as I revealed after the election I know a LOT more about Gillum’s alleged transgressions but stuck to the public record. The Democrats nominated unfortunately and perhaps that is the reason they’re not in the governorship. Nothing to do with race, Obama won this state twice. More about ethics and as I have written tactics – data, polling, etc.

      I probably have supported more African-Americans and Hispanics than most Dems historically. I assume you were a big Meek backer in 2010? Not a hint of scandal yet thrown under the bus by Dem elites for a Republican after many had back Jeff Greene in the primary. How about Alex Penelas? You back him? Daryl Jones?

      All these were good candidates, though I strongly objected to Penelas because of his role in the 2000 recount. But Gillum was a disaster waiting to happen. Fortunately for Dems Ron DeSantis was a bit of a clown show and had no idea how to use the info, though he did nail Gillum in a prosecutororal way asking a question he knew the answer to and Gillum looked into the TV camera and lied. Shady yes that DeSantis seemingly had colluded with Adam Corey to get the information but not illegal and certainly doesn’t justify Gillum’s blatant disregard for the truth in that moment.

    2. Anonymous · · Reply

      Miriam Oliphant whom Kartik continues to defend was African-American.

      Kartik at the time for those who don’t know him well claimed Oliphant was being picked on by the media because she was black and the GOP wanted to cripple Broward before George W Bush re-election in 2004.

      He has NEVER EVER EVER given Snipes the same deference and has been out to get her for 15 years. This is fact. Not racism it’s just based on who likes. He attached himself to the previous supervisor also black and believed she was ousted in a republican coup and has spent years trying to undermine Snipes. But he done so ineffectively.

      1. Snipes hasn’t earned our confidence. Oliphant had ONE cycle and took over an antiquated office run by a Republican where voter suppression and lack of access to voting materials was the norm. She brought in professional staff and was in the process of fixing things. Maybe she should walked before she ran, but as an African-American who had been elected countywide, she knew the potential of Broward.

        I’m not going to lie – as a Progressive Democrat I believe in activist SOE offices. Oliphant was an activist – she was effectively trying to increase voter awareness and turnout. Snipes in 15 years has hardly done that. Period. Oliphant was hung by local Dems sucking up to GOP power in Tallahassee and enabling the Bush machine to role Broward.

        I will go to my grave believing that, so yes your commentary is at least partially accurate, whomever you are.

      2. Well good for KK if he was backing the real Democratic African American Supervisor. Admittedly I wasn’t around then.

  2. I applaud KK for saying we need activist supervisors. That is exactly right. Voter suppression favors the Republicans!

  3. KK,

    You continue to defend and talk about Kendrick Meek who was a sure fire LOSER! Everyone including Obama knew it!

    1. We’ll never know if he was a loser or not. He was undercut from the beginning. He had been the party’s rock star in 2000s in Florida, but for whatever reason the elites, the ones with money never warmed to him. Probably because they were threatened by him.

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