County Elections Chief in Florida Announces Re-election Bid

Despite criticism of Broward County's performance with respect to elections, the supervisor said she would not step down as supervisor.

by / April 23, 2003
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- Broward County's embattled elections supervisor said she will seek re-election, despite problems with a September primary and a state investigation into overspending.

Miriam Oliphant, a Democrat who won a four-year term in 2000, announced her re-election bid Tuesday, after learning of her first challenger.

"Do you think I would have gone through all I have in the last months -- finding all the problems and correcting them -- if I wasn't running? I'm absolutely running again," said Oliphant.

In September's gubernatorial primary, voters received bad ballots and inaccurate registration information; some polls opened late and others closed early; and thousands of votes were not counted until a week after the election.

The problems received national attention because they affected the failed campaign of former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and recalled the fiasco of the 2000 Florida presidential recount, which happened before Oliphant took office.

A subsequent audit of Oliphant's office found a budget overspent by nearly $1 million. The state attorney's office has launched an investigation.

Cooper City Mayor Suellen Fardelmann, also a Democrat, announced Monday she plans to challenge Oliphant.

Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, has about 1.6 million people.

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