Retired Army Lt. Col.'s Ballot Was Stolen. How He Got Justice Is an Incredible Story


Dave Lowry is a retired Army lieutenant colonel. He had to vote by absentee ballot in Broward County during the last Floridian electoral debacle in 2000. His ballot was never counted.

His quest to make sure he got justice was spanned years and two Broward County supervisors of elections, including the now-infamous Brenda Snipes. But he got justice.

I voted by absentee ballot during the 2000 Presidential election. I had to,” Lowry wrote in a Sunday commentary piece or the Washington Examiner.

“I was stationed at Fort Hood, Tex., and I sent my ballot via UPS to the office of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections. The reason I used UPS was that I had been away from home for three weeks of temporary duty in Washington before the election. I barely made it back in time in time to vote and send in my ballot.

“Knowing it would be close, I sent my ballot via UPS. I tracked the package the entire way. It was delivered and signed for by someone named ‘Benson’ at 3:09pm on Tuesday, Nov 7, 2000. The legal deadline was 7p.m., so my ballot made it on time.”

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Except it wasn’t counted.

“Seven months later, I got a call from Chris Drew at the New York Times. He told me my name was on a list of thousands of voters whose absentee ballots had not been counted,” Lowry wrote. “My ballot, he informed me, had been stamped by Broward County as received nine days late, on Nov. 16, 2000. I was stunned by this revelation.”

Now, at this point, most people would have given up. The 2000 election was decided — but Lowry wasn’t deterred.

“For the next four years, I tried to figure out what had happened. I made repeated requests for a copy of my ballot, but the office of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections delayed and stonewalled for a year and a half until the statute of limitations had expired.”

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But Lowry was determined to see it through.

“On November 20, 2003, Jeb Bush suspended Broward Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant for incompetence,” he wrote. “Late in 2003, after the two year statute of limitations expired, I finally received a xerox copy of the voided ballot. With that, and a multitude of other documents, I built my case. I presented it to the Florida Elections Commission during a public hearing in Tallahassee in 2004. They validated my claim and sent a letter to Brenda Snipes, the new Broward County Supervisor of Elections, asking that my ballot be officially opened and counted in the official result.

“Brenda Snipes never responded to the letter. To date, my ballot has never been opened or counted.”

Lowry was interviewed Tuesday morning on “Fox & Friends.”

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In the Examiner piece, Lowry wrote that he thinks that “thousands of Floridian absentee ballots from that election were fraudulently stamped with incorrect dates of receipt,” due to the lack of a tracking system for letters that are handled by the United States Postal Service. Unlike with his UPS-handled package, no receipt dates are tracked.

“With no tracking, the receiver can stamp them as ‘late’ without fear of being caught,” he wrote. “It’s the perfect crime.”

Lowry isn’t going all conspiracy theory here.

“I can’t speak to the motive. Some election workers might just be lazy. But let’s say an unscrupulous hyper-partisan entity decided to sort the ballots by party registration and decide which ballots to open and count, and which ones to mark ‘late’?” he wrote.

“My vote was stolen by some unscrupulous government servant. Unfortunately, Miriam Oliphant was never charged with a misdemeanor for stealing my vote, because she stonewalled and denied access to the evidence I needed to prove my case. Oliphant’s replacement, Dr. Brenda Snipes, took no action to count my vote. She just swept it under the rug.

“But I did succeed in proving that George W. Bush won by 538 votes, not 537. I guess that’s something.”

One small step for Bush, one giant step for justice.

What I wouldn’t give for a nation of patriots like this former lieutenant colonel.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture