Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher, Vladimir Putin is on the line and he’d like for you to be his new co-supervisors of elections in Russia.
In the annals of American political vote-counting these two incompetent vote counters would top the list for perpetual screw-ups.
If the FBI had a “Most Wanted List” of the worst vote-counters in the nation, Snipes and Bucher would hold the top two spots.
It’s not that these two hyper-partisan Democrats messed up for just the first time.
I guess Ron White said it best when he seemingly referred to these two wackos with, “You Can’t Fix Stupid.”
Snipes (what an appropriate name!) of Broward County, and Bucher of Palm Beach County have frankly missed their calling.
I mean, there are a whole host of dictatorial, rogue states that would covet their services.
Please allow me the privilege of representing both of you as your agent, because I’m quite confident I can get you a much higher salary than the $160,000 you now make.
I know that a bidding war would ensue between Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, China and even North Korea, to name a few, that would reap both of you millions of dollars and the roaring, ever-lasting affection from a slew of tin-horn dictators.
Imagine for a moment that you wouldn’t even have to answer any embarrassing questions from inquiring reporters (which you can’t answer anyway).
Like, “How many ballots haven’t been counted yet?”
No one would really care about your answer, because the outcome in any of these countries is pre-ordained, same as you're trying to do.
I mean, you wouldn’t ever have to count ballots again in your life. You could just make up the numbers like you do now.
You wouldn’t have to slave over two or three days of counting votes, you could just announce the vote totals, even before the election closes, as Snipes recently did.
Chicago’s history of dead people voting from the grave? Nah, that’s amateurish in comparison.
All by yourselves, you’ve given every citizen of our state a reason to pause and ponder if their votes really mean anything -- or will actually be counted.
All joking aside, let’s look at the pathetic job these two highly paid civil servants have provided their constituents.
Snipes destroyed ballots after a lawsuit was filed requesting that the ballots be preserved for closer inspection from an election she oversaw.
Bucher, a Jewish Democrat, set-up a precinct voting location for a predominately Jewish precinct at a Muslim mosque. The only thing worse would have been if Snipes had set-up a predominantly black precinct in a KKK clubhouse.
Snipes has also publicly reported an undercount of well over 24,000 ballots, meaning that many citizens in her county voted in the governor’s race, but not in the U.S. Senate race. According to some analysis by election experts, no other county in the state had anywhere near as many undervotes.
It was announced yesterday that a Democratic lawyer has filed a lawsuit against her because of poor ballot design.
So, how could this happen in Broward County?
Well, Snipes is the chief elections officer and she designed the ballot.
With new ballots being “discovered” every day, it’s apparent to all regardless of party affiliation, that law enforcement -- FDLE and the FBI -- need to be called in, need to confiscate all the ballots and preserve them for the courts, which will ultimately decide the outcome of this election.
There was even a picture in the South Florida Sun Sentinel of a locked “Provisional Ballot Box” left behind at a school by poll workers.
Generally, there’s only one election a year, and neither Snipes nor Bucher can get it right just that one time.
Now Tim Canova, a Nova University professor and a former candidate who unsuccessfully ran against Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (and by the way, he was the one who sued Snipes in court to preserve the ballots), has posted a video of a person removing ballot boxes from a private vehicle and putting them into a rental truck -- clearly violating, according to Professor Canova, the chain of evidence so important to the integrity of any election.
Interestingly, when the polls close in Florida, the county SOEs are required within 30 minutes of closing to post the count of Absentee ballots and Early Voting ballots on their websites. That’s how the SOEs can post numbers so quickly and we can see the numbers on television. It’s not the voters voting on Election Day, it’s all the folks who have already voted.
But, somehow, neither Snipes nor Bucher had counted all the absentees on Election Day as the law requires.
Geez, what were they doing all the days ahead of time, when the absentee ballots kept coming in?
Didn’t they think that maybe, just maybe, someone should start counting them?
I’ve got some 8th graders that who count better than Snipes and Bucher, and they don’t draw down huge tax dollars as a salary.
It’s probably time for the courts to step in and begin permanently monitoring every election going forward in these two South Florida counties, just as they’ve done previously in other counties across the country, to ensure that civil rights violations haven’t occurred.
To make matters worse, Snipes' predecessor, Miriam Oliphant, was another incompetent SOE.
When first elected, Bucher, like Oliphant, let go many of the employees in the office that had quietly overseen previous elections.
Yeah, that’s always a good idea!
Maybe it’s time for someone else to oversee elections in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
And maybe, just maybe, this goes way beyond incompetence and it's really about fraud and trying to steal an election for their party favs.
I hope not, because election integrity must be sacrosanct if citizens are going to believe that voting is worth the trouble to take time off from work, wait in line and then vote.
Once again, some parts of Florida have shown they don’t know how to hold an honest election and report the results in a timely and correct manner.
It’s Bush v Gore, all over again.
Barney Bishop III is a former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, the immediate past CEO of Associated Industries of Florida and the current CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting.