It would appear that scandal-plagued Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is once again in the limelight. This time for violating state and federal laws by destroying paper ballots from her 2016 primary race against follow Democrat Tim Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, which Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz easily beat…or did she?
The dust-up occurred when Canova brought a lawsuit against the elections office challenging the Democratic primary results, claiming voting irregularities.
Florida Circuit Judge Raag Singhal ruled the ballots were “unlawfully” destroyed because federal election laws require the elections offices must keep election ballots for a period of 22-months.
The ballots were illegally destroyed by Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, after just 12-months, which raise questions as to why the ballots were prematurely destroyed, given the fact that Canova filled his lawsuit shortly after the primary results.
Judge Singhal also noted that only a court order should have allowed for the destruction of the ballots because they were the subject of a lawsuit.
Singhal also referenced Snipes by name stating she: “has not presented any evidence refuting that the public records sought were destroyed while this case was pending before this court.”
Moreover, within recent years Florida has come under intense scrutiny for a series of voting irregularities.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida Senate fired the last Elections Supervisor after questions were raised involving the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial primary for failing to ensure a smooth election process.
Shortly after the ruling by Judge Singhal, Gov. Rick Scott announced in a written statement: “During the upcoming election, the Department of State will send a Florida elections expert from the Division of Elections to Supervisor Snipes’ office to ensure that all laws are followed so the citizens of Broward County can have the efficient, properly run election they deserve.”
However here’s where it gets interesting, although there’s no “smoking gun” of any wrong-doing directly between Wasserman Schultz and Snipes, yet, there is some interesting interaction between Snipes and Canova, which raises more questions than answers.
According to court documents, in March of 2017 (before the ballots were destroyed) Canova went public asking to inspect the ballots in the 2016 primary, at which point Snipes office demanded almost $72,000 from Canova to sort and produce the ballots for his inspection, at which point Canova filed a federal lawsuit for the ballots.
On September 1st Snipes gave the go-ahead for the ballots to be destroyed without informing either Canova or the court.
“Nonetheless,” the following month, Snipes filed an answer to one of Canova’s motions and then “the destruction of the original paper ballots was not revealed until November 6, 2017,” Broward Circuit Judge Raag Singhal said in his ruling.
This brings us back to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her multiple infractions, and the likelihood that Snipes may have simply been following orders from a still very powerful former Democratic National Committee Chairperson.
Right now it’s all speculation, however lest we forget the scandal that followed after Wasserman Schultz was forced to admit she kept a former IT aide on the payroll after it was discovered that Imran Awan, and his wife, Hina Alvi Awan, were being investigated by the Capitol Police for possible theft, fraud, and moving sensitive data off Congress’s computer system.
She was also pressured to step down from her perch as chairperson in the wake of an email hack that exposed her bias against then-primary candidate Bernie Sanders and rigging it in favor of Hillary Clinton.
One member of the Democratic National Committee at the time candidly referenced the former chairperson stating; “We wish she would go away and stop being so public by doubling down on negative stories.”