Broward County official Brenda Snipes submits resignation after criticism

Broward County, Florida, election chief Brenda Snipes submitted her resignation on Sunday after weeks of criticism from Republican officials who accused her of illegal activity during the Florida recounts, according to multiple reports.

A Snipes representative confirmed the initial report to NBC 6 on Sunday. The Sun Sentinel was first to report the development.

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Snipes fielded criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law MORE as well as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who appointed her as Broward County supervisor of elections in 2003. Bush called for Snipes to resign, to which she replied, "That's his opinion." 

Snipes's resignation comes the same day that Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) was officially elected senator after a nationally watched race that triggered two recounts and a series of bitter legal and public relations battles.

Scott was one of Snipes's fiercest critics. He did not provide evidence for his allegations but threatened to sue Snipes. 

The Broward County elections office did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.

Voting in Broward County under Snipes took longer than other Florida counties and was marred by allegations of misconduct by election overseers.

Snipes on Saturday said that her office was unable to locate 2,040 ballots that had been included in the first vote count but not in the machine recount, The Sun Sentinel reported.

Trump joined in with other Republican leaders in accusing Snipes of malign activity more than a week ago, calling her a woman with a "horrible history." 

"If you look at Broward County, they have had a horrible history," Trump told reporters at the White House earlier in the month. "And if you look at the person, in this case a woman, involved, she has had a horrible history, and all of the sudden they’re finding votes out of nowhere and Rick Scott, who won, you know it was close, who won by a comfortable margin, every couple of hours it goes down by a little bit.” 

He added "bad things are going on in Broward County." He did not offer evidence for his claims.   

A federal judge last week encouraged both parties to "ramp down the rhetoric" around the Florida recount, saying that some of the allegations publicized had not been substantiated by evidence.

Florida law enforcement has so far not seen evidence of criminal conduct in the election. 

Snipes faced allegations of misconduct during previous elections in 2004 and 2016, NBC 6 noted.

The Broward County elections office also faced scrutiny for sending out a sample ballot that did not resemble the ballot used during the election itself. 

Snipes at a press conference last week said she felt her office got a "bigger spotlight" than others in Florida who also faced some obstacles.

"It is unfortunate that we’ve had some issues that have gotten continuous and expanded publicity," Snipes said last Tuesday. "Many supervisors have various kinds of incidents to occur. I don’t know why we get a bigger spotlight than some."