Congressional candidate Tim Canova said Friday that Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes wrongly destroyed ballots from the August 2016 primary while his court case seeking to review them was pending. Records from the election, which Canova lost, aren’t entirely gone. Snipes’ office made electronic copies of the ballots before destroying the originals. “The ballots are stored in a different manner,” said Burnadette Norris-Weeks, outside attorney for the elections office. Canova said that isn’t good enough. “Destroying the ballots when they’re the subject of litigation, it’s mindboggling,” Canova said in a telephone interview.
Because her office is the subject of litigation on the matter, Snipes said she was constrained in her ability to respond to Canova’s comments. “I’m not surprised that Tim Canova is saying that. Of course I don’t agree with him,” she said.
Canova said Snipes violated state and federal law, but it’s not clear who is correct.
Federal law requires the retention of voted ballots for 22 months after an election. A state regulation states that “photographic reproductions or reproductions through electronic recordkeeping systems may substitute for the original or paper copy.”