(Note: this story is being updated as further information comes in.)
Broward County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has come under fire in recent days as allegations of voter fraud and other blunders continue to plague her office in the final days of the presidential election.
New allegations of voter fraud surfaced yet again Friday morning, this time in a notarized affidavit, sworn by an election volunteer and filed with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, alleging that she witnessed four Supervisor of Elections (SOE) employees filling out piles of blank absentee ballots.
My sources have provided me with the affidavit (which you can view here exclusively via the Independent Journal Review). Sources inside the Broward County State Attorney's Office have confirmed that this document was forwarded to and is being reviewed by their investigators. When reached for official comment, a spokesman for the State Attorney's office replied that they had “no comment on this at this time.”
Voter Services and Registration Director Mary Hall was the only employee of the four that the volunteer was able to identify. I left a message for Hall with the receptionist at the Broward County SOE office; she did not return my call. However, I was contacted shortly after by Brenda Snipes, who said she was not familiar with the incident or the affidavit but said she would follow up with Hall and call back with more information.
As of press time, I have not heard back from her.
UPDATE: In a follow up conversation after publication, Snipes said that what the whistleblower witnessed was actually SOE staff members replicating damaged ballots by copying information from those problem ballots onto fresh ones. The whistleblower did not mention a third stack of ballots which would have been needed if one was transcribing. There was also no mention of any canvassing board monitors being present at the time this was done, which would have been required.
UPDATE: A statement from the Broward State Attorney's office released Friday confirmed they had conducted a “preliminary review” of the complaint, in which they concluded that “there is nothing illegal or improper about the conduct.” After touring the office and speaking with SOE staff, they determined:
It was determined that the ballots were being completed by SOE staff on behalf of overseas military personnel who had voted by faxing their ballots to the election office. The fax paper does not scan into the voting machines and the votes must be transferred onto a ballot that can be scanned. State law allows such a transfer of vote to a computer ballot.
UPDATE: I received a followup call from Brenda Snipes and her attorney, Norris-Weeks. Ms. Norris-Weeks refused my request to record the call, which is highly unusual as I was a member of the media speaking to a public official on the record. She aggressively interrupted and spoke over me and Snipes for most of the phone exchange, preventing me from asking why the temporary employee was fired after reporting the incident.
In the affidavit, a Florida resident and election volunteer, whose name has been redacted for privacy reasons, states that she was working as a volunteer in the Broward County SOE main office in Lauderhill, Florida when she stumbled upon four SOE employees locked in a room with stacks of empty absentee ballots:
I looked through the door window and could clearly see four SOE employees sitting at a table. Each person had a stack of documents next to them on one side and another stack on the other side, and they were all writing something on each document. Eventually an employee opened the door for me, and in a very hurried pace, allowed me in the room and told me to place my ballots on a different table. Once in the room, I could see the four SOE employees sitting at the same table actively filling out election ballots.
She goes on:
Each had a stack of blank ballots to the right of them (about an inch high) and a stack of completed ballots to their left. There were perhaps a dozen in each completed stack. I could see that the bubbles on the right stack had not been filled in, while the bubbles on the left stack had been blackened in. I could also see the employees filling in the bubbles as they moved the ballots from right to left. I witnessed this activity for over a minute.
The volunteer acknowledges that the employees were using the same standard black pens that the SOE supplies to voters as polling sites.
According to the affidavit, the volunteer left the room alarmed, but did not follow up, though she did express concern to her mother that evening. The next day, she was inexplicably terminated and ordered to leave by a security guard:
When I returned from lunch at 12:30, I was met by a uniformed security guard at the SOE entrance and told that I had been terminated, and was forced to immediately turn over my SOE credentials. I was warned that I was no longer welcomed in the SOE building and that I should never return. I was given no explanation for this action.
Republican Party officials have already accused Brenda Snipes, a registered Democrat, of turning a blind eye to voter fraud happening in Broward County, the most heavily Democratic-leaning in Florida. A compromise over ballot processes, supported by a canvassing board judge, was reached Wednesday evening between Snipes and the Florida GOP.
But this latest evidence seems to complicate the case.