A series of far-right social media pages and groups have been reported to law enforcement for doxxing
Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher, the supervisors of elections in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, respectively. According to redacted screenshots obtained by New Times,
at least one of the posts doxxing
Snipes appeared in a neo-Confederate Facebook group, and another showed up in a group called Trump Train.
The nonprofit Election Protection, a nonpartisan voting-rights group tied to Common Cause and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, discovered the posts. Via phone, a spokesperson
for Common Cause, David Vance, told New Times
that Facebook and Twitter had removed the posts
and that Election Protection had referred the issue to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice. The Washington Post first reported on some of the online posts
The fact that the doxxing
posts appeared on a pro-Confederate page should not be lost on anyone: Snipes and Bucher are women of color and for years have been the subject of racist attacks.
"I found all of this information," one post on the Confederate Resistance page stated before listing Snipes' personal information, which New Times
is withholding. "It is all open to the public, so I am breaking no law. This is the address of the Supervisor of Elections in Broward County, Florida, Brenda Snipes, and her phone number. Like
I said, I am breaking no law."
The Florida recount has turned Snipes (and Bucher to a lesser extent) into a household name and lightning rod for controversy almost overnight. Snipes has seemingly offered no real reason, other than incompetence, to explain why her county has taken so long to count (and recount) ballots in the 2018 race.
But Republicans have irresponsibly and baselessly accused both supervisors of committing widespread fraud and faking ballots in order to "steal" the election for the Democratic Party. There is no evidence of any malfeasance, and two agencies that answer to Gov. Rick Scott — the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and a series of state-level election monitors — say Snipes has not been accused of fraud.
But Scott, President Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, a series of Fox News hosts, and a horde of online commentators and outright conspiracy theorists have baselessly accused Snipes of fraud anyway. Sources have also told Politico that Trump and high-level Republican operatives have pushed candidates in other races to fabricate claims of fraud if they fear they might lose. Trump has taken things to an extreme
and even falsely accused voters in Broward of wearing "disguises"
so they could illegally vote multiple
Critics have rightfully warned that spewing false accusations is dangerous, because baseless fraud claims can undermine trust in democracy. Plus, the rhetoric has, it seems, encouraged online wackos to take matters into their own hands, with dangerous results.
“Doxxing of this nature creates an imminent safety risk for the targeted individuals, can intimidate election officials and communities, and could constitute unlawful interference with the electoral process,” David Brody, counsel and senior fellow for privacy and technology at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said today in a written statement. “That two women of color were specifically targeted for their role in officiating a federal election is especially concerning.”