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Judge: Ballots In Wasserman Schultz Race Illegally Destroyed

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Created: 14 May, 2018
Updated: 17 October, 2022
2 min read

Tim Canova, founder of Progress For All and independent candidate for Congress, won a significant legal victory Friday when a circuit court judge ruled that the Broward County Supervisor of Elections illegally destroyed ballots cast in the 2016 Democratic congressional primary.

In that election, Canvoa faced off against incumbent US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has been embroiled in controversy after controversy since the 2016 elections.

Canova filed the lawsuit last year, alleging that Supervisor Brenda Snipes improperly discarded thousands of ballots that made an inspection of the results impossible. The judge sided with Canova, finding that Snipes ignored and illegally obstructed his request to copy and inspect the ballots.

Snipes plans to challenge the judge's order, but it will be interesting to see what impact this will have on the midterm elections. This controversy is just the latest in a laundry list of dubious (at best) practices by Broward County election officials, and the Florida secretary of state will send someone to monitor the administration of elections in the county this year.

Canova is running again for Debbie Wasserman Schultz's seat in 2018, this time as an independent in the general election. He said in a previous interview for IVN that his decision to drop his Democratic Party affiliation was influenced heavily by the actions of Snipes and the local and state Democratic Parties.

"It reached a tipping point dealing with the ballot destruction from my previous primary against [Wasserman Schultz]. We discovered during the course of litigating in our efforts to inspect the ballots…that the Broward Supervisor of Elections completely destroyed all of the paper ballots while the litigation was pending, and in violation of federal law.

[…]

When the party could not be bothered with investigating ballot destruction that has undermined people’s faith and confidence in the integrity of the system, to me it just became intolerable.”

Check out more on this interview with Canova, including a full podcast here, and stay tuned for more developments on this story and the race for Wasserman Schultz's seat.

Photo Credit: Gregory Reed / Shutterstock.com

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