Using an executive order, Gov. Rick Scott suspended Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes from office on Friday after issues and multiple recounts during the Florida midterm elections.
Snipes received widespread criticism during the election when her office missed the deadline to file results and couldn't provide information to the public on the ballot count, among other issues. Scott cited all of those and more in a news release Friday announcing he signed an executive order removing her from office.
“Every eligible voter in Florida deserves their vote to be counted and should have confidence in Florida’s elections process," Scott said in a statement. "After a series of inexcusable actions, it’s clear that there needs to be an immediate change in Broward County and taxpayers should no longer be burdened by paying a salary for a Supervisor of Elections who has already announced resignation."
Snipes has been the top elections official in the south Florida county since 2003 when then-Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her. She submitted her letter of resignation on Nov. 18 and had planned to step down in January.
Scott defeated Sen. Bill Nelson after a machine and manual recount to become Florida's next U.S. senator. He will leave the governor's office on Jan. 4 and be sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Jan. 8.
Also after a recount, Ron DeSantis was elected as Florida's next governor. He will be sworn in on Jan. 8.
CEO of Enterprise Florida Peter Antonacci, a former lobbyist, will serve the remainder of Snipes' term until the election in November 2020.
"I know that Pete will be solely focused on running free and fair elections, will not be running for election and will bring order and integrity back to this office," Scott said.