by WorldTribune Staff, September 25, 2020
Several ballots cast for President Donald Trump in his 2020 re-election bid that were mailed in by military personnel were found discarded in Pennsylvania, U.S. officials said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office Middle District of Pennsylvania said in a statement on Thursday that the discarded mail-in ballots were discovered in Luzerne County.
“Of the nine ballots that were discarded and then recovered, 7 were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump. Two of the discarded ballots had been resealed inside their appropriate envelopes by Luzerne elections staff prior to recovery by the FBI and the contents of those 2 ballots are unknown,” the statement said.
On Monday, at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, the Office of the United States Attorney along with the FBI, Scranton Resident Office, began an inquiry into reports of potential issues with mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections.
The development comes as U.S. Postal Service officials are investigating trays of mail discovered in a ditch in Greenville, Wisconsin on Tuesday. In a statement, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office said the three trays were found at 8 a.m. near the Appleton International Airport. A USPS spokesman confirmed to FOX 11 that the mail included absentee ballots.
On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the Postal Service must prioritize election mail.
“The right to vote is too vital a value in our democracy to be left in a state of suspense in the minds of voters weeks before a presidential election, raising doubts as to whether their votes will ultimately be counted,” stated U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero.
“Conflicting, vague, and ambivalent managerial signals could also sow substantial doubt about whether the USPS is up to the task, whether it possesses the institutional will power and commitment to its historical mission, and so to handle the exceptional burden associated with a profoundly critical task in our democratic system, that of collecting and delivering election mail a few weeks from now,” the judge added.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned of voter fraud associated with voting by mail, though he has expressed support for obtaining an absentee ballot if a person was in another state or had a medical condition
“We’re not going to destroy this country by allowing things like that to happen. We’re not destroying our country,” Trump has said. “This has more to do with fairness and honesty and, really, our country itself.”
“People take them where they force people to vote,” he previously warned. “They harvest … They take many, many ballots, and they put them all together, and then they just dump them, and nobody has any idea whether they’re crooked or not.”
A record 76 percent of Americans will be able to vote by mail in the 2020 general election, The New York Times reported.