Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes may be fighting a federal lawsuit, but she testified Tuesday that it has already pushed her to do more to uncover people who should be removed from the county’s voting rolls. Snipes is in court defending her office against accusations brought by the conservative American Civil Rights Union that the county has thousands of ineligible voters on its lists. The ACRU, a Virginia-based nonprofit, is asking U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom to order the county to take additional steps in purging names that don’t belong on the rolls. The ACRU claims the county in recent years has had more voters on its rolls than eligible voting-age residents, or at the very least, that it has close to a 100 percent voter registration that it says is “improbable.” The trial in federal court in Miami could set a national precedent for how aggressive election officials need to be in removing non-voters from their rolls. The ACRU and other conservative groups have been challenging voter roll information in states and counties across the country.
Snipes said she is doing everything the law requires to keep the county’s voting rolls up to date, for the most part relying on the state to provide needed information about voters who have died or committed felonies, and using change of address information to start clear rolls every two years of people who have moved. But testifying on Monday, Snipes said she is taking additional measures suggested by one of ACRU’s expert witnesses.
The elections office began receiving jury recusal information this year from the Broward clerk of courts about residents who filed forms saying they could not serve on a jury because they were either a non-citizen or a convicted felon, Snipes said. The elections office can cross-reference that information against its voter rolls to see if any are voters that should be removed for the same reasons.