By Roger Stone
Roger Stone was the central figure organizing the “Brooks Brothers Brigade” in 2000 that saved the Bush presidency from being stolen by Democrats in Florida.
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Three months ago I urged Florida Governor BOE Supervisor Brenda Snipes based on history of election fraud and incompetence. My call for Snipes ouster was based on the BOE handling of the Republican congressional primary in Broward County in which Snipes refuses to provide results of early voting, absentees voting or election day voting… providing only grand totals that reveal that a perennial candidate that spent noting beat two better funded and organized challengers. This despite photographic evidence that some candidate’s names did not appear on the ballot at all and in many precincts more Republicans voted than our registered in the party.
It not as if this Snipes first venture at voter fraud. In May 2018, the Sun Sentinel reported a judge ruled the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office violated state and federal laws by destroying ballots from a 2016 Democratic Congressional race too soon — and while the ballots were the subject of a lawsuit against the office. Once again Canova’s name did not appear on the ballot in certain precincts and in some precincts more Democrats voted than are registered.
Progressive Tim Canova challenged Snipes in Court over the treatment of his campaign to unseat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the Democratic primary. In September Snipes actively approved the destruction of the ballots fraudulently signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending.
Snipes, a close political ally of Wasserman Shultz said the action was a “mistake” during testimony she gave in the case, saying the boxes were mislabeled and there was “nothing on my part that was intentional” about destroying the contested ballots.
But this is just the tip of a long record of corruption and incompetence which would have provide Governor Scott sufficient reason to remove Snipes and appoint a Democrat with a reputation for integrity and honesty.
In August of 2016 CBS Miami reported the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office inadvertently posted election results 30 minutes before the polls closed at 7 p.m.
That caused Secretary of State Ken Detzner to send memos to the Broward County State Attorney and sheriff asking for an investigation, Snipes blames a vendor. A private contractor that runs the BOE website, VR Systems, said one of their workers accidentally put up the results while creating a link for a Broward County elections worker.
The vendor took the blame in a memo that outlined the mistake in an affidavit produced by Snipes and issued an apology, saying, in part, “VR Systems assumes responsibility for the error. We are taking additional measures to ensure this never occurs again.”
The Sun Sentinel reported a federal judge cleared Snipes in a lawsuit that accused her office of facilitating voter fraud.
Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign has filed lawsuits against election officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties, accusing them of not being able to provide accurate totals of how many ballots remain left to be counted.
The CEO outlined the mistake in an affidavit sent to Snipes and issued an apology, saying, in part, “VR Systems assumes responsibility for the error. We are taking additional measures to ensure this never occurs again.”
In August of 2018 of Politico reported a judge ordered for Snipes to stop opening mail-in ballots in secret or before the county’s three-member canvassing board to determine the ballots’ validity.
“We appreciate the court’s order clarifying what Florida law plainly requires — that Supervisor Snipes and her staff must safely keep and may not open any vote-by-mail ballot until the Broward County Canvassing Board canvasses the vote,” a spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Florida told Politico.
In August of 2018, CBS Miami reported the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office had late delivery on about 5,000 vote-by-mail ballots for the 2018 primary election.
If Only Rick Scott had listened, now Scott is holding a razor thin margin while Snipes plays an elaborate game of poker in which she refuses to show her hand. For a county that is 100% computerized Broward reported painfully slowly on election night while Snipes seemed to hold back the results in 100 Democratic precincts. Now she miraculously claims that provisional ballots were found in a closet and other places where votes are mysteriously popping up.
This has caused Governor Rick Scott to file a lawsuit seeking to force Snipes to show her hand. In the lawsuits, Scott’s campaign names Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher in their respective county roles. In Scott’s Broward County lawsuit he complains of a “lack of transparency” about how many people voted, how many ballots were received and how ballots were counted.
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Scott ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate. Florida’s 67 counties are required to report their unofficial returns to state elections officials on Saturday. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner held a conference call with county elections supervisors Thursday morning to discuss a possible recount and plan ahead for one. The earliest Detzner could issue a recount is Saturday. Bottom of FormTop of Form
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Friday afternoon, a judge ruled Snipes violated state law and must hand over records from Tuesday’s vote by 7 p.m. CBS Miami reports the judge said Snipes must “allow immediate” viewing and copying of records that have been requested. To date, Snipes has not complied with the courts order.
The opportunity for voter fraud is massive. Broward County has about 1.15 million voters, second only to Miami-Dade’s at about 1.4 million.
Snipes was formally appointed to her job to replace former County Supervisor Miriam Oliphant. who was escorted out of her office and removed from her job. Oliphant’s track record was similar to Snipes. CBS Miami reported while Oliphant was in office, uncounted votes were found in a cabinet drawer, and the department went a million dollars over budget.
Depending on how large the cache of suddenly found votes are, Snipes could decide the race for US Senator between Scott and comatose US Senator Bill Nelson as well as the hard fought race for Ag Commissioner, pitting future stars Republican Matt Caldwell and Democrat Nikki Fried.
Given my expertise in recounts in New Jersey where I served as chief strategist for Governor Tom Kaine who won by 1208 votes out of 2.2. Million cast and the 2000 Florida presidential recount, some have falsely claimed that I planning some kind of “ Brooks Brothers Riot”. This is false.
The so-called brooks brothers riot is widely misunderstood. A group of partisan Republicans did not shut down the Miami Dade recount. The so called Brooks Brothers riot was a civic action in which a group of Republicans stopped two Democratic party official from removing a pile of ballots that had already been counted three times to a private area where there were no media or Republican viewers, a clear violation of Florida’s sunshine law. The situation in Broward in 2018 is nowhere analogous.
I am disappointed than rather than carry out Scott’s order to FLDE to impound all ballots and ensure an honest count, the Secretary of State called on the office of Sheriff Scott Israel and the Dem state attorney Mike Satz to conduct an investigation into how many ballots Snipes has and where she is hiding them.
FULL DISCLOSURE – My son is a career Broward County Sheriff’s office deputy who applied for his job under Republican Sheriff Al Lamberti and went through the rigorous academy to become an officer.
My best advice to Governor Rick Scott is to not only unilaterally order FLDE to impound all the ballots to ensure the integrity of the count. I also recommend that he fire Snipes and appoint a Democrat with a reputation for integrity and honesty to ensure an honest count be conducted and the origins of all ballots is revealed. Because I think politically, I would recommend that Scott appoint an African American Democrat, as there are several distinguished Black Democrats on the bench and at the Broward County bar that could serve the bar.