Several discarded military ballots cast for President Donald Trump have been recovered after federal authorities opened an unspecified investigation regarding mail-in ballots in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
On Monday, September 21, 2020, at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, the Office of the United States Attorney along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Scranton Resident Office, began an inquiry into reports of potential issues with a small number of mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections.
Since Monday, FBI personnel working together with the Pennsylvania State Police have conducted numerous interviews and recovered and reviewed certain physical evidence. Election officials in Luzerne County have been cooperative. At this point we can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded. Investigators have recovered nine ballots at this time. Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot. All nine ballots were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump.
It is presently unclear how many ballots were discarded.
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.
Speaking to the Washington Examiner, the sheriff’s office said the “mail going to the post office.”
“The United States Postal Inspection Service immediately began investigating and we reserve further comment on this matter until that is complete,” USPS spokesman Bob Sheehan said.
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.”