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A US Postal Service employee in Kentucky who tried to discard over 100 absentee ballots is no longer with the Postal service and may face federal charges, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
Agents from the US Postal Service Office of Inspector General, which conducts independent audits and investigations, confirmed to the outlet that a private citizen discovered 112 absentee ballots in a dumpster on Thursday. The ballots, which were intended for the Jeffersontown area of Jefferson County, were mailed out by the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office earlier in the month, according to the Courier Journal.
The US Postal Service released a statement, which says in part that “OIG Special Agents identified the employee responsible for discarding the mail,” adding that “the person is no longer employed with the USPS.”
“The case has been accepted for federal prosecution by the US Attorney’s Office,” Special Agent Scott Balfour wrote in a statement. “They will determine what charges are appropriate after a review of all the facts in the case.”
None of the ballots were found marked or opened and they were sent back to the Postal Service to be hand-delivered to residents on Thursday.
Jefferson County, which encompasses Louisville and has an estimated population of nearly 767,000 people, is the most populous county in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The postal service has roughly 630,000 employees nationwide.
While such balloting incidents remain extremely rare, President Donald Trump has amplified concerns about mail-in and absentee ballots over the past several months, attempting to question the validity of such ballots during a time when many voters are still concerned about in-person voting in the midst the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, the White House doubled down on the case of nine military ballots being discarded in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to show that there was widespread voter fraud. However, the ballots were eventually found to have been tossed accidentally and there was reportedly no intent of fraud, according to the Associated Press.
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Source:: Business Insider