Politics Kentucky Postal Worker Who Dumped More Than 100 Absentee Ballots Fired, May Face Federal Charges
The 19th Explains: Everything you need to know about voting and Election Day 2020
Experts and state officials say to prepare for the reality that the country may not know who won the presidency on Election Day — or for several days (or weeks) after.Long lines due to expected record voter turnout amid a global pandemic. Ongoing concerns about online misinformation. Hundreds of lawsuits over voting. Poll workers facing changing election rules. An incumbent president who won’t guarantee a peaceful transfer of power.
A Kentucky postal worker who allegedly threw out more than 100 absentee ballots in a dumpster on Thursday has been fired by the U.S. Postal Service and may face federal prosecution.
The Postal Service Office of Inspector General112 discarded intended for voters in ZIP code 40299, which is located in the Louisville metro area, as well as two political fliers that had also been discarded.
Worries about postal service and mail-in ballots push early voters to in-person polling places
Voters in North Carolina, Georgia and states across the country where early voting has begun have been waiting in line for hours to cast their ballots. One reason they're doing it despite being in the midst of a pandemic: They don't trust the mail to deliver their ballots. © Ron Harris/AP Hundreds of people wait in line for early voting on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Marietta, Georgia. Eager voters have waited six hours or more in the former Republican stronghold of Cobb County, and lines have wrapped around buildings in solidly Democratic DeKalb County.
The unidentified individual responsible for throwing out the ballots in a dumpster near Jeffersontown has been fired and his case has been accepted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal prosecution, the USPS Office of the Inspector General said.
“Federal privacy concerns preclude me from providing any more details about their employment,” special agent Scott Balfour commented.
The ballots, which were all unopened and had not been filled out, had been sent out by the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office on Oct. 3 and were delivered to voters on Thursday after they were recovered.
Some voters had called the clerk’s office and complained about not receiving their ballots. The office had been planning to mail out new ballots to the affected voters.
Latest Mail-In Ballot Controversies Fact-Checked and Explained
The topic of mail-in voting has been a point of focus and controversy throughout the 2020 election season. President Donald Trump has consistently "warned" Americans about the dangers and frauds that are attached to mail-in voting through the use of false information and the distortion of the mail-in voting practice. © Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty A woman holds up a mail-in ballot during the Massachusetts state primary on September 1 in Boston. On the other hand, Democrats have expressed their belief in Trump's motivation to depress voter turnout rather than to prevent voter fraud.
“I will point out that the vast majority of the Postal Service’s 630,000 employees are hard-working, trustworthy individuals who work around the clock to deliver the nation’s mail, and incidents of this nature are exceedingly rare when put into that context,” Balfour stressed.
Earlier this month, a postal worker in New Jersey was arrested for allegedly discarding 99 ballots for the November election along with other mail.
Several other states have had issues with sending out mail ballots, including New York, where some Brooklyn residents reported receiving their absentee ballot along with a “official absentee ballot envelope” with an incorrect name and address.
Voting by mail has become a fraught issue leading up to the November election. Democrats have encouraged voters to submit their ballot by mail to protect themselves from potential exposure to the coronavirus at polling places. Meanwhile, President Trump has opposed the widespread use of mail-in ballots, saying it is a breeding ground for voter fraud and “puts the election at risk.”
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How battleground states process mail ballots -- and why it may mean delayed results .
More Americans are voting by mail this election than usual, due to the pandemic. But processing those ballots takes more time. Here's how it works in battleground states. Because of the pandemic, more voters are opting to cast their ballots by mail this year. While the expanded access and increased use of mail-in voting is good for voters, it does create hardships for already strained election officials in many states, including key battlegrounds.