- In a late-night tweet, President Donald trump referenced a meme circulated by conservative groups and took aim at Brenda Snipes, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections in Florida.
- In the meme, Snipes is covered with “I Voted” stickers, suggesting she played a role in the unsubstantiated claims of rampant voter fraud.
- The 2018 midterm elections in Florida were scrutinised after Democratic candidates began cutting into the Republican’s lead and triggered recounts, fuelling rumours of voter fraud.
In a late-night tweet on Tuesday, President Donald Trump referenced a meme circulated by conservative groups and took aim at Brenda Snipes, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections in Florida.
“Brenda Snipes, in charge of voting in Broward County, Florida, was just spotted wearing a beautiful dress with 300 I VOTED signs on it,” Trump tweeted Friday.
“Just kidding, she is a fine, very honorable and highly respected voting tactician!,” he added.
Trump appeared to be referring to a meme that was circulated by conservative personalities, including former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee:
Broward Co Election official Brenda Snipes continues the vote count. pic.twitter.com/Y7vEjH3aIs
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 14, 2018
The meme alluded to rumours of voter fraud in Florida during the 2018 gubernatorial race, where Republican Ron DeSantis faced off with Democrat Andrew Gillum, and Republican Rick Scott challenged Democrat Bill Nelson in the US Senate race.
Voting in Florida, which was infamously beset with high-profile election mishaps in the 2000 presidential election, was under the spotlight again this year, after Gillum and Nelson began cutting into DeSantis’ and Scott’s leads, respectively. Both races were close, triggering recounts.
Broward County, in particular, was singled out after it was slow to report its vote counts and was unable to account for more than 2,000 misplaced ballots. Snipes, the leading election official in the county, was accused by right-wing personalities of rigging the system to benefit Democratic candidates.
“Rick Scott was up by 50,000+ votes on Election Day, now they ‘found’ many votes and he is only up 15,000 votes,” Trump claimed, days after the ballots were cast. “‘The Broward Effect.’ How come they never find Republican votes?”
“They are here to change the results of election,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida alleged in a tweet. “[Broward County] is where they plan to do it.”
Republican candidates and the party at large pushed unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud during the 2018 midterms. Trump previously claimed, without evidence, that due to three to five million illegal votes, he lost the popular vote in the 2016 US presidential election to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“We should be careful what we say,” Florida Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter said to The Washington Post, after finding no evidence of voter fraud in his state.
“These words mean things these days, as everybody in the room knows.”
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