Broward County ex-supervisor of elections Brenda Snipes dies at 80

November 4, 2023

Broward County's ex-supervisor of elections Brenda Snipes died on Thursday after a short illness at age 80, her daughter reported to media sources.

Snipes served as supervisor of elections in Broward County for about 15 years after retiring as an educator. She resigned in 2019.

After coming to Florida from Alabama where she was born and grew up in the 1960s, Snipes earned her doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University.

She was a teacher at several Broward county schools and then administrator with the district for 39 years.

Her important role

Just a few months after Snipes retired, then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed her to be Broward County election supervisor in 2003.

She had no problem getting re-elected through 2016, but the 2018 elections were controversial and she was suspended by the outgoing Governor at the time, Rick Scott (R).

She sued Scott over the suspension, but then resigned after Ron DeSantis took office.

At issue was the way Snipes had designed the ballots, which could have cost Scott's opponent Bill Nelson almost 10,000 votes. Because the federal races were placed in the bottom corner of the ballot, they were overlooked by many voters.

Still, those lost votes would not have been enough to overcome Scott's ovewhelming lead in that election, and her ballot design was shortly banned for future elections.

Continuing her legacy

The current supervisor of elections for Broward County and her elected successor, Joe Scott. said she did a lot of good work and made many improvements to the elections office.

Specifically, Scott said Snipes was “excellent at recognizing talent" and that many of the current staff were hired and trained during Snipes' tenure.

“The success our office has with outreach and voter turnout can be attributed to her vision for the county,” Scott said. “She has made a footprint in touching the lives of children who are now leaders in our community. It’s an honor for our office to continue her legacy.”

Survivors

Snipes is survived by her husband, Walter Snipes, her daughters Derrice Snipes-Hakeem and Melanie Snipes Thomas, her two grandchildren, and her two sons-in-law.

The nature of her illness was not specified.

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