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Broward elections office included 22 void ballots in its final total sent to state

Twenty-two improperly cast ballots, considered void due to mismatched signatures and other violations, were included Saturday in the final vote totals submitted by Broward County to the Florida Secretary of State’s office.

The illegal votes were part of a batch of 205 provisional ballots that were reviewed by the Broward canvassing board Friday evening.

Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes accidentally mixed the valid ballots with the invalid ones after she had initially removed the ballots from their envelopes.

Snipes recommended the canvassing board include the entire batch in its returns, despite vehement opposition from attorneys for Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. Snipes said Saturday that it “seems unfair to me to disenfranchise 205 voters at the expense of a small number.”

“And if that’s being unfair to anyone, I don’t think it’s a large enough number to affect the difference between who comes out of the recount as a victor,” she added.

After the county met its noon deadline to submit unofficial vote totals to the office of Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the general counsel for Snipes, Eugene Pettis, said the entire batch was “included in the process” and counted.

William Scherer, an attorney for Scott’s Senate campaign, said, without offering evidence, that some of the illegal ballots included instances of double voting.

“They keep the door open so that the rats can run in, rather than the rats run out,” said Scherer, who represented George W. Bush in Florida’s 2000 presidential recount. “Every vote counts. Do you count every illegal vote?”

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