Broward and Palm Beach are two of the largest counties in Florida, and also happen to be the deepest blue in the state. In 2018, the Supervisors of Elections for both counties begged the state for updated voting equipment and resources, requests that the Republican-majority legislature ignored. Then-Gov. Rick Scott was quick to help Republican (mostly white) counties for his own benefit, and only those counties.
Problems inevitably arose in the close election, and Scott, in his final order as governor, fired Brenda Snipes, the Broward County’s Democratic supervisor of elections, for “malfeasance,” and installed his shady right-wing ally Peter Antonacci.
Antonacci could never have won an election in Broward, much less one for supervisor of elections. Yet Scott appointed him to oversee the most consequential presidential election in the state’s largest Democratic county next year. The supervisor of elections is a critical role that determines the number of early-voting sites, sets staffing levels for each precinct, and is responsible for implementing Amendment 4, the GOP-assaulted amendment that restores most former felons their right to vote.
A U.S. district court found that Scott had overstepped his authority and that the timing of Snipes’ removal was suspicious because it left her without the ability to challenge her ouster or contest any allegation levied by Scott’s executive order. Scott attacked the judge as a “liberal,” and Antonacci remains.
For anyone hoping this partisan hack would somehow step up to the plate and try to run a fair election, it’s not looking good.