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Nancy Smith

Finally Serial-Screwup Elections Supers Have Rick Scott's Attention; Governor Sues Snipes and Bucher

November 9, 2018 - 6:00am
Brenda Snipes, Rick Scott and Susan Bucher
Brenda Snipes, Rick Scott and Susan Bucher

Tim Canova must be laughing his backside off at the debacle unfolding over at Brenda Snipes' Crazytown.

Not that there's anything particularly funny about a charge of election fraud. 

But let's remember, Canova, the Bernie Sanders-backed progressive who ran against U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, begged Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward Supervisor of Elections Snipes from office after she defied a judge's order and illegally destroyed paper ballots from the 2016 election.

Scott didn't remove her.

I Beg to DifferShould have. Didn't. 

Now, in probably the most important election of his life, the governor has fallen victim to the same Snipesist incompetence or malfeasance or both that hacked the legs off Canova's future political hopes maybe for forever.

Sorry, Gov. Scott. You know how much I think of you. No governor in America has done more in eight years to create jobs and economic opportunity, or to elevate the reputation of his state.

But I have to admit, I can almost see Canova cradling his Verizon, big smile across his face, pretend-talking to you: "Governor, can you hear me now ...?"

You should have removed and replaced the bumbling, conniving Brenda Snipes when you had the chance. This is hard to watch: The election empress of the bluest state in Florida is sucking the life out of the election for you and at least two other statewide candidates.

In 2003 Gov. Jeb Bush yanked and replaced Snipes' predecessor, Miriam Oliphant, who was never accused of fraud or defying a judge's order -- and that's a whole lot less than Snipes pulled on Canova. Of course, then Jeb gave us Snipes, but I believe it was a case of a red governor trying to keep the faith with a blue county. 

"I can't give you an exact number (of ballots left to count)," Snipes told Sun-Sentinel reporters on Wednesday. "I'm not sure. I'm really not sure."

Only, the rumor is, she's very sure. I've heard the rumor, the Sun-Sentinel has heard it, folks at the State Department in Tallahassee have heard it. By now probably a more relevant question would be, who hasn't? 

Remember, it's still a rumor, unproven because Snipes isn't talking, but  can you say, THIRTY THOUSAND ballots? 

How does that happen in an office that now has electronic balloting, no more paper. Most counties count mail-in ballots before anything else, unless they arrive on the last day. But Snipes? "Broward elections officials said repeatedly they didn't know how many mail-in ballots were still being counted," reported the Sun-Sentinel.

Happily the governor's campaign team is fighting back now. In a sense, Scott is fighting for his life. 

He  held a press conference Wednesday night on the doorstep of the Governor's Mansion, announcing his lawyers had filed two lawsuits, one in Broward and one in Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher-plagued Palm Beach County. See HERE and HERE.  

Bucher also has a long history of elections mistakes that haven't always looked unintentional. Tuesday night WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach interviewed her at the Electons Office, where she described an incident-free night with an earlier-than-usual start on vote counting. See the segment here. Notice the pace of the staff. It says, "All done!" doesn't it? Yet, later, we discover some 15,000 ballots were mysteriously "found."

This is a relief for another pair of Republicans, too -- Ron DeSantis, whose governor victory is in jeopardy, and Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell, who ended election night slightly ahead but now is losing to Nikki Fried.

Scott laid out his case perfectly in his press statement. You can tell it comes from a candidate who believes he's right, believes shoddy elections office practices look like fraud and if nothing is done, Florida has been wronged. Here is his statement:

"Late Tuesday night, our win was projected to be around 57,000 votes.

"By Wednesday morning, that lead dropped to 38,000.

"By Wednesday evening, it was around 30,000.

"This morning, it was around 21,000.

"Now, it is 15,000. 

"On election night, Broward County said there were 634,000 votes cast.

"At 1 am today, there were 695,700 ballots cast on election day.

"At 2:30 pm today, the number was up to 707,223 ballots cast on election day.

"And we just learned that the number has increased to 712,840 ballots cast on election day.

"In Palm Beach County, there are 15,000 new votes found since election night.

"So -- It has been over 48 hours since the polls closed and Broward and Palm Beach counties are still finding and counting ballots -- and the supervisors -- Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher -- cannot seem to say how many ballots still exist or where these ballots came from, or where they have been.

"The people of Florida deserve fairness and transparency and the supervisors are failing to give it to us.  

"Every Floridian should be concerned there may be rampant fraud happening in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. And the Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has a history of acting in bad faith.

"As you will recall, a judge ruled just this year that the office violated both state and federal laws by illegally destroying ballots in 2016.

"In 2016, Brenda Snipes’ office posted election results half an hour before polls closed -- a violation of election law. That same year, her office was sued for leaving amendments off of ballots.

"In 2014, Brenda Snipes’ fellow Democrats accused her of individual and systemic breakdowns that made it difficult for voters to cast regular ballots.

"All Floridians should be concerned about that.

"Palm Beach County is also refusing to provide information to the public. And they are illegally refusing to allow official party representatives into the ballot counting area and forcing people to stand behind a glass wall with limited visibility and no ability to hear what is going on.

"This is a clear violation of Florida law -- and we have just filed a lawsuit.

"Both Broward and Palm Beach Counties have failed in their duty to follow Florida law, which requires that vote by mail and absentee ballots are counted within 30 minutes of polls closing. Further, Palm Beach County has failed to update the Department of State since 10:19 am yesterday. This is in complete violation of Florida law, which requires updated reports every 45 minutes until results are completely reported.

"We’ve all seen the incompetence and irregularities in vote tabulations in Broward and Palm Beach for years. Well ... here we are again.

"I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the people of Florida. 

"Senator Nelson hired one of Hillary Clinton’s lawyers from D.C., and the first thing he did was tell reporters that he is here to win the election. He did not say that he wants a full and fair election, or even an accurate vote count. Here are some other things he has said: 

  • "In 2010: When his Democratic client in Minnesota was leading by 8,000 votes, he said the lead was 'insurmountable.'
  • "In 2014: When his Democratic client in Virginia was leading by 12,000 votes, he said there was 'no precedent' for a successful recount. He also said that recounts 'really only happen where you are talking about dozens or a few hundred votes separating the candidates.'
  • "In 2013: When another one of his Democratic clients in Virginia was leading by only 165 votes, he said that recounts 'do not tend to change the results.'
  • "In 2016: When his Democratic client in North Carolina was leading by 10,000 votes, he called it a 'close but significant margin' that would be 'insurmountable.' He also called on the opponent to 'graciously concede' rather than waste taxpayer money on a deficit that could not be overcome.
  • "Again in 2016: When his client Hillary Clinton had lost the presidential race, he wrote an article highlighting that the margin of 10,704 votes in Michigan quote 'well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount.'

"Now he is here to try to steal the election, and to try to thwart the will of the voters of Florida.

"Every day since the election, the leftwing activists in Broward County have been coming up with more and more ballots out of nowhere. We all know what is going on.  Every person in Florida knows exactly what is happening. Their goal is to keep mysteriously finding more votes until the elections turn out the way they want.

"And when that fails, they will file a bunch of lawsuits in order to try to overturn the will of the voters.

"There are 67 counties in Florida, only these two counties are involved in these shenanigans. There are NO OTHER COUNTIES -- REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT-- that are trying to steal this election, or who are still finding ballots. 

"Some believe that this is simply rank incompetence. THAT IS CLEARLY TRUE.

"BUT it would also be naïve to not realize that they could be trying to overrule the will of the voters of Florida.

"Tonight, I am asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate this immediately, and I am considering every single legal option available.  

"No rag tag group of liberal activists or lawyers from D.C. will be allowed to steal this election from the voters in the state of Florida.

"I am proud to be the next senator from the State of Florida and look forward to going up there and making Washington work for all Americans."

Until the inauguration, whatever happens in court with these Rick-Scott-the-candidate election challenges, Florida will still have Rick-Scott-the-governor.

I'm expecting new supervisors of elections in Broward and Palm Beach counties by the end of the year. 

Tim Canova will be vindicated.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

Comments

What a crybaby can not buy office to rob Florida residents even more so sad for him .Take what you have stolen and move to Montana or cuba.maby you're palls in pourtorico will have you!!

Use punctuation. Use correct grammar. Cannot understand your post. Spell words correctly: It's: Pals Maybe Cannot Your Puerto Rico

What the fuck do you care? Stop being a cunty troll

It need to be a federal I investigation on the votes in Florida because I dont see nothing the Republicans did to help poor people or disabled people or the veterans and homeless people they talk about the brown all over the news why they not talking about the government in the state of Florida how he own all these businesses with our money and why a federal investigation hasn't been done on him yet but he is here for Florida he dont give a damn about Florida residents he only care about buying property and doing wrong in the government Florida need some changes down here

How about Florida schools going from 38th in the nation 2 decades ago to 4th in the nation. The best thing the government can do is get out of our way, redistribution efforts have and should always leave us all poorer.

Organised crime has entered the legal domain of Government in Florida nothing new here.

and you need to take English lady! Are you even a citizen? My goodness, cannot even speak or use grammar properly and you are complaining.

It need to be a federal I investigation on the votes in Florida because I dont see nothing the Republicans did to help poor people or disabled people or the veterans and homeless people they talk about the brown all over the news why they not talking about the government in the state of Florida how he own all these businesses with our money and why a federal investigation hasn't been done on him yet but he is here for Florida he dont give a damn about Florida residents he only care about buying property and doing wrong in the government Florida need some changes down here

They should be looking at Alachua County also. It's seems that games were afoot in posting the vote tallies.

Every single ballot should be counted and added. Even the ones that the Supervisor's of Elections can arbitrarily disqualify because of "signature irregularities" or a "missing signature", or a provisional ballot due to address change, even though they had ID. What gives them the right or the expertise to make these arbitrary decisions? If they are allowed to exclude all of those ballots, those numbers should have to be reported and by party. I'm beginning to understand how for the last 4 major election cycles, the Repubs are pulling off every major office election by 1% or less. If that is not the case, then every single vote must count, unless there is just no ID.

NO, not ballots that were created in a back office days after the election. You're an idiot if you think these are "real" votes

It's the TIMING of the vote. Voting ended Tuesday night. What's occurring is the manufacturing of new votes which were not mailed or in the system by the cut-off date and time. And it doesn't matter if the vote is legitimate - it's too late to vote after the polls close. That's why she won't give a count because it's a moving target. They know who voted and who didn't and they are manufacturing the fill out the rolls. A re-count won't catch what they are doing.

My Palm Beach County absentee ballot JUST got counted today. They received it Oct. 30.

How could you possibly know that? Voters are only contacted if they used a provisional ballot during early voting and it was thrown out. Nice try toots

Law suit? We got no time to soft peddle these criminals with a stinking law suit Rick my man. Oh no as elected officials Rick Scott has the authority to remove Snipes and Bucher Right Now. Get To Work Rick _ stop *ussy footing around - ride in there with the FDLE NOW and install their replacements!

This circus has to stop in Broward County once and for all. The voting system is completely rigged in Broward County. I know because we moved back into Broward County in 2015. What a mess. When we left this county to move to California the end of 1990, it was a Republican County. Foolish us. We didn't check to see what had happened politically to Broward in the interim 25 years. The way the system is rigged is a law exists to protect incumbents. The law is challenged before the Florida Supreme Court every so often as being unconstitutional. The Supremes say it is constitutional because the way it is written it allows for candidate competition. In reality, it allows one candidate to run with no other choice....election after election. We have no way to "retire" Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz even after she obviously stole the Dem Primary from Sanders and refused to turn over Dem computers to the FEDS for inspection. Sheriff Israel is another one who needs a thorough independent investigation into his practices to get re-elected time after time. It is obvious that he looks complicit in the deaths of those poor children at the school in Parkland. To go on national TV and have the nerve to say he's not responsible for how his department behaved at the Parkland incident is so disgusting. He can't be fired because he holds an elected office. Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snypes is another one who we can't get rid of. Think about it. When her name appears on the ballot, usually there is no other name to choose from. That in itself is questionable. Then, because of the position she is running for,. she is the one who oversees that election. Conflict of Interest if there ever was one. I can go on and on re: what is wrong with Broward County Government. They are now going to steal this election back for the DEMS. I think if anyone can get a really impartial investigation going it is our wonderful, independent, not beholden to anyone, Governor Rick Scott. We are counting on you Governor Scott to make Florida great ....AND HONEST...maybe for the first time in the state's history.

Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. The biggest blowhard is also the biggest crybaby! Typical!

Thank you Governor Scott. Let's get to the bottom of this corruption. They have gotten away with it way to long.

FUBAR!!

If there's a delay in counting, it's the GOP's own fault for purging voter rolls and making people jump through hoops in order to be counted. The provisional ballots all have to be verified after election day. That takes time, and when you have tens of thousands of provisional ballots, all thanks to the GOP's suppression efforts, you can thank them that in the most populous counties in the state that it will take days to either add them to the count or reject them. All thanks to the scam artist Scott and his GOP enablers.

Garbage take. If what you are saying was accurate then there would be widespread issues. Instead these "irregularities" are only happening in Broward and West Palm - deeply blue counties with Democrats running the elections offices.

As a Dem I am embarrassed. Brenda Sykes has been incompetent all of her career. As supervisor of election elections are all you do. How can you mess this up this many times? However, incompetence does not equate to fraud. We can argue about her inability to create a system that adequately addresses the volume of voters in Broward County. But we should not make up things that there is no proof of. There is no proof of any voter fraud. To imply it is recklessness. FDLE should not investigate because they work for one of the candidates. Either the Feds or an independent body should investigate and be a part of any recount that takes place. I didn't vote for Rick Scott but if he won then we have to respect the vote. I just want every legitimate and verified vote to count. After that the numbers will be what they will be.

I agree. Rick Scott was pressured to fire her 2 years ago! he did not! A Republican out her in place....Jeb Bush and then each time she has been elected in! By republicans and de mocrats! She has messed up votes for republicans and democrats!!!!!! So to be fair.....she should not be in her job. My question is......WHY DID THE REPUBLICANS ATTEND TO THIS PROBLEM BEFORE?! IS IT BECAUSE SHE MAY HAVE MESSED UP FOR SCOTT THIS TIME?!

Might have something to do with the 60 million of his own money that Red Tide Rick poured into the election. It didn't hurt that he made a record 200+ million while in office by betting on companies with huge state contracts, even they were done through his, ahem, "blind trust". Ever wonder how every race in the last few cycles, always seems to be won Red, by 1%. Red Supervisors' of elections outnumber Blue 10 to 1. It sure seems strange, especially since it is a phenomenon that is not been repeated anywhere else in the country... Hmmmm.

History reminder. David Brown , a democrat, ran against both Oliphant (in 2000) and Snipes (in 2016). Good campaigns. Made the point abouts about poor county turnout, mis-management and much more. If Scott pulls her out and wants to recognize Broward's democratic majority Brown would be a great choice. He knows the office.

Good point. I'm an 'Independent' and have no allegiance to either party. All I and the public at large want is an honest and capable bureaucrat at the helm, not politicians with suspect core values.

I was embarrassed to be a South Florida voter during the laughable 'hanging chad' debacle the Democrats pursued. But the was a direct offshoot of a flawed ballot design that both parties checked off on. This latest installment is much different or actually worse. It exposes the ineptness of two county election supervisors who failed to follow the election law to crate yet another voting scandal. Forget Russian compromise of our election process. These two incompetents have collectively exposed the slimy underbelly of corruption at its worst. Undermining the public trust in our election is not mere negligence nor even gross negligence. It is criminal and both need to be held accountable, Sad, very sad,

Bill Nelson not only refused to concede---he demanded a recount on election night---the very next day he predicted victory. Conversely--Gillum conceded on election night because he was so far behind. It is very possible they knew exactly how many votes that had in the bank...this may have even been their contingency plan in the event the people of Florida elected Rs. Let the investigation begin.

The Broward SOE is riddled with fraud in their own words “Can we pull this off?”

LOL!!!...……….Rick Scott is suing for openness, etc, when he has fought so hard against it...…. ;^)...............And as for the BS Scott made jobs, he just benefited from Obama massive economic growth from a repub economic depression, nothing more............Compare Florida to other states average and he hasn't done anything but sit on his but and claim how great he did.................Now Trump, repubs have one the same thing, boosting the economy right when it didn't need it with a massive tax cut mostly to the rich, corporations that little made it to the workers borrowing money to do it while next yr the deficit is over $1T/yr again, ballooning the national debt,...........And they lead to higher inflation, interest rates, killing the economy...........Now add the most incompetent trade war hurting the world's economy even more than our own cutting demand for our exports means we'll be in recession next yr...............And 2 more yrs of Trump and 1.5 million more Florida voters now amendment 4 passed, 2020 does not look good for repubs as they have a lot of Senators up then too.

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