Charge: Broward Election Boss Brenda Snipes “Ethically Challenged”








Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes may have the title.

Her long-time Chief of Operations Fred Bellis actually runs much of what goes on the elections office, I am told.

In the past year Bellis has expanded his job description. Now he is also working to get Snipes re-elected.

He shepherds her to campaign stops. He makes calls for her. He raises money.

All while Bellis remains on the Supervisor’s payroll.

Although not unusual in politics, Bellis’ dual role as a government employee and campaign strategist illustrates Snipes’ administration, her opponent David Brown charges.

She is ethically challenged, Brown says.

Brown has made Snipes’ ethics a campaign issue.


Brenda Snipes

Brenda Snipes


The challenger says that Bellis is only part of the problem.

Informational election material is inscribed with her name. In big letters.

Voting for supervisor will take place in a precinct emblazoned with Snipes’ name.

All this is legal.

Is it fair?

Brown vows he will change the policy. If elected, he pledges to minimize the use of his name in elections office literature and signs.

Brown further says on his website:



“On my first day in office I will establish a comprehensive ethics policy to curtail the involvement of Supervisor’s employees and contract attorneys in any elections in which Broward voters cast ballots. I was flabbergasted at the recent disclosure that there is no ethics policy in the Supervisor’s office and that the contract legal counsel has been contributing to and participating in campaigns about which she has been called upon to advise the Supervisor and litigate on behalf of the Supervisor’s office.”

Brown is also reminding Democrats– the August 30th Democratic primary will decide this race since there is no Republican candidate – that former Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Snipes in 2003.

During those 13 years, the Elections Office has needed a new headquarters. It doesn’t have one.

Part of the blame is obviously the County Commission, which finances the Elections Office. Part is also Snipes, who has shifted her choice several times where the new office should be located.

During those 13 years, there have been repeated problems holding elections.

Long lines.

Hours for early voting less than the state allows.

Refusal to pay for the return postage on mail ballots until this year.

Maybe that is why dozens of Democratic office holders and activists have done something amazing – endorsed Brown over the incumbent Democratic Elections Supervisor Snipes.

Truthfully, some of those Democrats are former clients of Brown, who was a well-known campaign consultant before deciding to run for supervisor. Regardless, the office holders didn’t have to get involved and they did.



David Brown



The race isn’t being covered by the Old Media, .i.e, the Sun-Sentinel and television stations. The candidates, both senior citizens (Brown is in his 60s and Snipes in her 70s), have minimal involvement in the Internet and social media. Neither has much money for a countywide contest – Brown’s campaign raised $50,347, while Snipes raised $42,825.

So the election is down to grass roots.

Snipes, who is African-American, has a solid base in the black community. Plus she has the name ID build up over 13 years in office.

Brown has been mining Democrats activists he knows from his decades of campaign work. For Brown to win, these activists must offset Snipes’ (and Bellis’) skill in exploiting her incumbency in this campaign.



Fred Bellis campaigns for Brenda Snipes at Kings Point condominiums, Tamarac

Fed Bellis Campaigning at Kings Point

44 Responses to “Charge: Broward Election Boss Brenda Snipes “Ethically Challenged””

  1. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Dr. Snipes couldn’t even fill out her Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and Designation of Campaign Depository for Candidates and had to file a correction. Look for yourself.

  2. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Dr. Snipes has so poorly selected which Polling stations voters are assigned to. Some voters live across street from a school, which is used as a polling station for other voters, but makes them drive to another location almost 2 miles away. Dr. Snipes has done more to suppress voting then any other person in the state of Florida.

  3. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Dr. Snipes is ethically challenged even on her contributions fillings. She list Fred Bellis occupation as Administrator. She doesn’t tell the public that his job titles is Election Operations Coordinator/Executive Assistant as posted on the same website.
    She did the same thing with her former employee Mary Cooney, calling her administrator on her financial disclosures. Avoids using the word Elections so unless the public is aware they don’t realize she’s receiving contributions from her employees. Why does she try to hide it?

  4. ExplanationSeeker says:

    Ethically challenged is an understatement in regard to Brenda Snipes. Does anyone know why she apparently never followed through with payment for petitions from Hubert St. Clair? Did Dale Holness pay St. Clair’s fees for him, or did Snipes order Bellis to do so? What is the final result of this situation? Maybe Snipes just swept it under the rug with uncounted, missing ballots.

  5. norman price says:

    Buddy I totally disagree with your comments against Dr. Snipes and of Fred Bellis. I had the pleasure of working at the supervisor of elections for 7 years until I had to retire due to health issues.Dr. Snipes and Fred are both very qualified to continue and amazing how his opponent got so many endorsments is because they were his clients.What qualifications does Dr.Snipes opponent have except for consulting ?

  6. One Who Knows says:

    It is long past time for Dr. Snipes to retire. From withdrawn candidates appearing on the ballot to dead people voting to nearly 1,000 uncounted ballots being found lying around a warehouse, her administration is one debacle after another. Fred Bellis does run much of what goes on in that office, and he is utterly incompetent. He held his position as her “executive assistant” for at least five years before he even learned how to look up a voter on the computer! It’s time for both to exit stage right and allow a competent administration to take over!

  7. Hack says:

    The way the office is supposed to be conducted is in a non-partisan basis and he is not the one to do it. Brown spent his life selling pencils and teeshirt to the campaigns of Democrats. Will Brown promise not to have taxpayers buy tee shirts and pencils from his company or his friends to hand out as part of a “voters outreach?”

  8. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Sadly @7 is right.
    IF any of 1 2 or 3 ‘s blogs are true WHY HASNT HE GONE TO THE STATE ATTORNEY?

  9. Norm Price says:

    I just saw the picture of Fred Bellis at Kings Point and I find it interesting that the picture was taken by David Brown and he gave you wrong information Fred was there NOT campaigning for Dr. Snipes but handing out information about the upcoming elections so maybe its time for David to start selling pencils and t-shirts again and get a life and I agree 100% with #7 and #8 that David is incompetent and lied

  10. Hey andrew says:

    Adderal brother, heavy dosess of adderal

  11. Talks like a politician says:

    Brenda Snipes accepted several votes from dead people and felons…

  12. Voter fraud says:

    The voter rolls need to be updated. We received voter registration cards in the mail at our house for an adult child who hadn’t lived here since 2009 but officially changed residence to another state in 2013 and for one of our parents who deceased in 2015, and never lived here, but we had the mail forwarded to our address after her death and the sale of her house.

  13. Keno Bros. says:

    Whew… what short memories some people have … remember what a disaster Dr. Brenda Snipes inherited from the previous administration? Dr. Snipes got in there and put together a professional staff, and cleaned up the mess (no butterfly ballots .. no hanging chads in her office!!). There are always going to be some minor snafus in every election; Snipes and her staff have performed admirably. One thing I got from the article is that Mr. Bellis is very important to that office. Every elected Constitution Officer needs great staff members, and the most qualified person heads up the staff; in this case it is Mr. Bellis. The elected official (Dr. Snipes) is the representative of the residents of the county, and the Chief of Operations (Mr. Bellis) is the top professional administrator who should (and does) handle the day-to-day matters … this is Government 101. We’ve seen all of the notices posted of the many, many meetings she has held all over the county to educate voters … until we reach 100% turnout, it will be their duty to continue reaching group after group. It’s great to see that Snipes’ employees have so much confidence in her that they are willing to perform non-office duties on their own time, at their own expense (freedom of speech). From all of us here at Keno Bros., though we are all Republicans we are pleased that we have an Elections Supervisor who really is “party-blind” and performs her duties like a non-partisan. Oh, and by the way — all elected officials have their names and that of their office printed on all brochures that go out of their offices, that is standard operation procedure. Keep up the great work Dr. Snipes and Mr. Bellis!


    The comment is right. Brenda Snipes inherited a horrible situation when she was appointed 13 years ago.

    One correction: Miriam Oliphant, who was removed by Gov. Jeb Bush and replaced with Snipes, never used butterfly ballots or paper ballots with hanging chads. Those became famous during the 2000 election run by Jane Carroll, who was supervisor before Oliphant.

    The problems Oliphant had were with the electronic touch screen devices that were new and were eliminated after she left.

    Please remember that both the previous paper ballots and the touch screen devices were picked and purchased by the Broward County Commission, not the supervisor. In fact at one point, Ms. Carroll wanted those paper ballots replaced.

  14. Courthouse Employee says:

    This is about as unethical as Howard Forman allowing his wife to parade around the clerks office and campaign whenever and wherever she wants. Handing out flyers and making promises to those who support her including raises and promotions!! Shame on you Howard, you do know better.


    Caution: No proof has been offered by this “courthouse employee” of these allegations. Remember that anybody with a computer can write an anonymous comment.

  15. Norm Price says:

    # 12 Just for the information the data base is controlled by Tallahassee and feel free to call Fred Bellis at 954-712-1953 and you along with anyone else can also call if you have questions and thank you buddy for answering #14

  16. One Who Knows says:

    When Brenda Snipes leaves office, her successor will be in nearly the same position as she was when she was appointed in 2003. She has been in decline for years, to the point where she is barely better than Miriam Oliphant was.
    Fred Bellis – a top professional organizer?? He is neither professional or an organizer! The only things that he is proficient at are ass kissing and back stabbing! They need to ride off into the sunset together!

  17. Courthouse Employee says:

    For fear of losing my job, of course I am going to remain anonymous!! But the truth is, Howard’s wife is in the courthouse on an almost daily basis walking in and out of secured areas. Who’s gonna tell the boss’s wife no especially when he escorts her in. Her campaign information has been handed out inside the offices and given to employees to hand out as well. We all know about her promises to friends because they were openly bragged about especially by one incompetent employee who was given an huge huge raise and an unjustified promotion while the rest of us were on furloughs. How is that fair?


    If she is spending her time walking around the clerk’s office instead of campaigning among other voters, I wouldn’t worry too much about her winning the race.

  18. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    @15 The county Supervisor of elections is responsible for their own voter database. The state will suggest names of felons, and dead people it finds, and sends this information to the County Supervisor of Elections asking them to be removed.

  19. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Lets remember Nov 2014, some polls on election day had 4 hour line ups, and some had no line ups with pole workers standing around doing nothing. Poor leadership, not allocating the resources correctly.

  20. A reader says:

    Musings: Just how do these double dip (School Board and Broward County) pensioners like Brenda Snipes ride off into the sunset when they
    have squirreled away enough government money?
    Will it be via a limo, a luxury car, a horse drawn carriage, or a gold plated walker?

  21. Dissostichus mawsoni says:

    Good News.

    Since I’m still a registered democrat I should have no problem voting for Trump twice in Broward.

  22. norman price says:

    #16 I find it funny that you criticize Fred Bellis but afraid to use your real name. I had the pleasure of working with Fred at the Broward Sheriffs Office and also with Fred at The Supervisor Of Elections and have known him for over 23 years and unlike you with your idiotic commenets do you even know him. I would love to see you respond and using your real name

  23. Phil N. D'Oval says:


    Polling locations have to be set in advance by law. Once set, regardless of the lines, it is illegal to add extra poll workers and almost impossible to add more voting booths and equipment.

    Vote centers would resolve all of this by allowing voters to go to places where lines are shorter. Talk to your LAWMAKERS about improving Florida’s election laws.

  24. The Truth Shall Set You Free says:

    Dirty David Brown is a political hack who now wants to be in charge of overseeing our votes. Talk about conflict of interest. And Brown’s not even very good at what he does. In “Job Seeking Skills 101” the most basic rule is, “1: Master the Art of Selling Yourself.” Brown is a 2-time has-been loser who can’t even get himself elected, even though he is supposed to be an expert puppet-master of other politicians. “A man who represents himself had a fool for a client.” I don’t understand how any politician could hire a guy who can’t even get himself elected (he got crushed, twice). Which may lead one to believe that the only reason Brown seeks elected office himself is to get on the inside of the Supervisor of Elections Office where he gets access to the voter data. This is like the fox guarding the henhouse. WAKE UP VOTERS … do not be fooled by DIRTY AVID BROWN AND HIS CRONIES. The “Choke Artist” Brown, who can’t even win his own elections now wants to be in charge of the entire office of elections!!! Are you kidding me!!! David Brown is a political hatchet man who will crash and burn in the upcoming Supervisor of Elections race, while Dr. Brenda Snipes has never lost and is a proven winner. While Brown is getting his “payback” endorsements from politicians whose campaigns he worked on, Dr. Snipes is getting the support that really counts….from the residents of Broward County.

  25. Lack of Integrity says:

    Dave Brown making accusations that SOE is ethically challenged yet at the invitation only breakfast/coffee meetings Mr Brown was actively recruiting campaign consultant Dan Lewis to be his secret weapon. Can you imagine the voter fraud if Brown and Lewis were given over site of SOE Offices.

    To site the SOE’s appointment 13 years ago is just grasping at straws by Brown.

  26. HillaryIn2016And2020 says:

    #23: “…it is illegal to add extra poll workers and almost impossible to add more voting booths and equipment.”

    Please list the exact law that says this.
    Please copy the complete law that says this.

    America wants to know!


  27. just saying says:

    @19 and
    Oregon (the whole state) votes by mail in EVERY election. Granted less voters than Florida but it can be done.
    No voting centers to be set up, staffed, broken down, no “Headquarters” for voting machinery, way too many staff, etc., etc.

  28. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    People are really thinking about replacing a former school principal who pulled the SOE out of a huge mess and has kept it running smoothly for 13 years with a political hack who is starting out his campaign by fabricating news stories to feed to the press to make the incumbent look bad? Ridiculous.

  29. Concerned Voter says:

    How can this be permitted? How can a guy whose existence revolves around digging up dirt on politicians, using sacred voter information to spread attack disinformation> how can a morally bankrupt person like this even be allowed to run for, of all things the Supervisor of Elections position?! Is this even legal (please weigh in on this, moderator Nevins). So here we have Dastardly David Brown, who runs negative campaigns for other candidates, smearing other people’s good reputations, gutter politics, etc. I understand this is a free country, but this is an obvious conflict of interest right? It’s a good idea to have Supervisor of Elections as an elected position, but there must be some requirements (or disqualifiers). I read in Buddy Nevins’ Broward Beat that David Brown is calling his opponent ethically challenged. But hold on here> isn’t it Brown who is the ethically challenged one? It’s the oldest play in the book: the person who actually commits the dirty deeds transfers his actions to his opponent (throw enough shi* against the wall and hope some of it sticks). I.M.H.O., Brown with all of his sneaky tricks should be disqualified from office due to his past and current actions in his twisted world of gutter politics.

  30. Down With Trumpeteers says:

    It isn’t worth my time to specify the blog number of those of who choose to imitate a disgusting narcissist, Donald Trump, with your ugly, little nicknames. You are all small, ignorant people.
    Sorry, Buddy, but with commenters like you are drawing, I am out as a reader.


    This is a forum open to all points of view. Donald J. Trump was nominated by a major party. He got millions of votes, including winning the GOP primary in this state. I am not going to censure the comments of Trump fans, as much as I differ with their opinions.

  31. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    @28 states the case better than I can. As a former NYC Board of Elections Executive Officer staffer and Commissioner of Deeds I know the financial pressures and scheduling obstacles Election officers have to deal with some bloggers either ignore or simply are in ignorant of

  32. Keno Bros. says:

    We just looked this up online, and would like to add some comments. Only about a third of Florida counties have at least one person who is a “Master Certified Florida Elections Professional”. The Broward County Supervisors of Elections Office has EIGHT (8) such competent and qualified persons in that office (including the previously besmirched Dr. Snipes and Mr. Bellis). It should be noted that our neighbors in counties of Palm Beach and Dade have no such certified personnel on their staffs. And this is not some run -of-the-mill, one-hour seminar with coffee and donuts… this is a certified program of professional instruction that covers in-depth the following topics (121.5 clock hours): Basic Election Law; Voter Registration; Absentee Ballots/Early Voting; Voting Systems; Polling Place Management & Facilities; Ethics & Liability; Budget Development for Elections Offices; Human Resource Management I; Management Information Systems; Fundamentals of Customer Service; Office Communication Skills; Fundamentals of Leadership; Canvassing Board Process; Post Election Ballot Management – Audits & Recounts; Candidate Qualifying Process w/ Do’s & Don’ts; Elections Mgmt.; Recruitment, Training & Retention of Poll Workers; Public Records & Records Retention; Human Resource Management – II; Internal Communication: Meeting Facilitation; Internal Communication: Business Communication; Continuity of Operations; Media Relations; Conflict Resolution; Performance Management & Coaching; Developing & Maintaining an Effective Team; Stress and Time Management; Managing Change; Making Powerful Presentations; Leadership Effectiveness; Systems Thinking; Creativity & Innovative Thinking for Elections Offices; Optimizing Intergenerational Interaction in Elections Offices (These courses are certified by The Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections). …. It should also be noted that Broward County is one of America’s largest counties with 577 precincts, and it’s not as if you can just wave your hand like a magic wand and wish away the difficulties of running such a massive operation on election day. Even best laid plans could go awry, but by and large, we believe that Dr. Snipes, her office and her staff have done an excellent job, and have addressed problems as they have popped up. And the fact that they have more Master Certified Florida Elections Professionals on staff than any other county validates their fine service to our community. Thank you readers for your attention.
    See the link here

  33. One Who Knows says:

    #28 ETAL – Really? David Brown resorted to fabricating?? Check out the links below. They are only the tip of the iceberg.

  34. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    @33. As an ACTUAL ELECTIONS staffer I must say
    1. Election offices Do Not Check Social Security Death lists BECAUSE THEIR IS NO FUNDING TO PAY FOR SUCH WORK



    Dont Blame Election officials FOR THE FISCAL POLICIES OF THE COUNTY COMMISSION or indeed the VOTERS

  35. Ha Ha Ha says:


    #1: The computer programming needed to perform the comparison between Social Security death records and the Supervisor of Elections database is neither difficult nor expensive. And if a suspected match is found, the computer can also trigger the existing verification process of sending automatically generated mail to the last known address to ask the voter to respond. There is no part of this process that is expensive. If the Supervisor is not getting this done, that’s mismanagement.

    #3: Lack of staff should only affect the speed of operation. It should not affect the accuracy. If ballots are mislaid, that’s a mismanagement problem.

  36. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    @35 going through lists of names n numbers may seem easy to some people but the people hired at Election Department rates are less educated or much older than the average citizen.

    And again my experience outside special socially aggressively lobbied projects Funding authorities nickel n dime voting

    Sadly many elected officials don’t want the voting population that elected them changed. Let things alone is what is said in private time after time.

    To Blame Dr Snipes who is constrained by all the above verges on the heartless.

  37. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @36 – All the “going through lists of names and numbers” can and should (just as I originally said @35) be performed automatically by a computer program, with zero human involvement other than:

    1) Creating the computer software to:
    a) Download Social Security death records.
    b) Compare those records to the SoE database of registered voters
    c) Automatically print an inquiry letter to any voter with a matching SSa death record, asking the voter to reply if still living at this address
    Note: Creating this software is neither hard nor expensive – only minimal one-time staff costs are involved.

    2) When the computer prints out these inquiry letters, put them in the mailbox for delivery (minimal costs for postage & minimal staff costs involved)

    3) In the unlikely event that anyone listed as dead by Social Security is actually alive and responds, make a note on their voter record indicating proof of life as of the date they responded (minimal staff costs involved).

    Yes, Count, I heartlessly expect the SoE to both understand and effectively use Internet and computing technology. The voters deserve competence, period!

  38. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    >> Ha Ha Ha says: The computer programming needed to perform the comparison is neither difficult nor expensive.

    Have you ever professionally deployed a SLOC (single line of code) in your life?

    For the last three decades, I’ve done just that — for companies like IBM, Coca Cola, Disney, ATT, BellSouth, Motorola Microsoft, NASA, and hell, even the Koch boys.

    Software is expensive … expensive to develop, even more expensive to maintain.

    Please stick with what you know, whatever that is … it’s quite obvious coding isn’t your forte.

  39. Dissostichus mawsoni says:

    To Buddy, thanks for allowing silly nick names

    Now, staying on topic, I received my voter/reg card this week and also one for my wife who passed in 2003, she was a registered democrat, this is the fifth one in 13 years. I know she hasn’t voted and she never expressed hatred for people with different views or different party affiliation. Hatred is ugly, little.

  40. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @38 – Yes, I have. My professional history includes database administration, client-server software development, system administration, etc.

    The software to do the Social Security death records analysis would require relatively little code and would therefore be inexpensive to both develop and maintain.

    And Chaz, since your academic record only includes a degree in Applied Mathematics, I’m curious as to whether you have any knowledge whatsoever of NP-completeness, etc…


    Off topic!!! No more!!!

  41. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    May I again raise a PHILOSOPHICAL issue that Dr Snipes n Mr Brown differed on at a recent forum?

    Dr Snipes took the position it is NOT the job of Election Departments to “turn out the vote”. THAT IS THE JOB OF CANDIDATES N POLITICAL PARTIES.

    Mr. Brown took the opposite position Election Departments SHOULD PUSH PROGRAMS TO UNCREASE VOTER TURNOUT.

    To be blunt I find Dr Snipes to have the correct financially n ethical position

  42. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @41 – Brenda Snipes is wrong!!

    Political parties should work to motivate people to cast their votes for their candidates.

    Candidates and issue groups should work to motivate voters to cast their votes for them or their issues.

    But nonpartisan efforts to simply get people to vote (without regard to who they vote for or against, and aimed evenly at all members of the voter population) are exactly what the Supervisor of Elections should be doing!

    By the way, 22 countries (including Australia, Argentina, Brazil & Peru) even make voting mandatory, and these countries will fine anyone who doesn’t vote!!

  43. Lester Alexander, member International Longshoremen's Assoc. says:

    As an African American man, I am very disappointed with David Brown. This is the 3rd time he has cherry-picked his race to run against an African American woman in Broward County. Of all the different positions he could run for, he continues to single out and criticise women of color for the main reason to run against them so he can try to bamboozle the voters in his failed attempts to get a real job. And Dr. Snipes has been doing good work as Supervisor of Elections for the past 13 years. So many of my friends and fellow union members are very upset with Brown, and he needs to be stopped before he does more damage. I think this will be his 3rd strike and he will be out. Not a nice person and not very honest this man David Brown….. I’m Lester, I am a real person.

  44. Jim Crow VIII says:

    Brown is bad for Broward.

    Campaign consultant as SOE = Disaster.

    Lobbyist as SOE = Disaster

    Brown is not an objective candidate he is totally subjective = Disaster

    Observing Brown at forums he foments anger & hostility.