A Kentucky U.S. Postal Service (USPS) staffer has been fired and will face federal expenses for dumping some 112 absentee ballots within the trash.
The worker is “is now not employed by the USPS,” Particular Agent Scott Balfour, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service Workplace of Inspector Normal, mentioned in an announcement on Friday. “I can not present any additional particulars surrounding their employment on account of federal privateness considerations.”
Balfour additionally revealed that the employee’s case has been accepted for federal prosecution by the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace. “They’ll decide what expenses are applicable after a assessment of all of the information within the case,” he mentioned.
A building employee discovered about 112 unopened ballots and two political flyers deserted in Jefferson County. The discarded ballots have been reportedly addressed to recipients within the 40299 ZIP code, which incorporates the Jeffersontown, Hopewell and Seatonville areas.
On Thursday, Balfour advised Newsweek that the ballots have been returned to the Postal Service to be delivered to their recipients.
“I’ll level out that the overwhelming majority of the Postal Service’s 630,000 staff are hard-working, reliable people who work across the clock to ship the nation’s mail, and incidents of this nature are exceedingly uncommon when put into that context,” he mentioned.
Whereas Balfour famous that incidents of dumped ballots are “exceedingly uncommon,” some have pointed to the case to justify their mistrust for mail-in voting. Republican Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky tweeted: “FACT: Voting by mail won’t ever be as safe as casting your vote in individual.”
Nore Ghibaudy, a spokesperson for the Jefferson County Clerk’s Workplace, advised native information that the ballots have been mailed on October three and may have arrived inside 4 days. “It’s unlucky that ballots and basic mail was dumped by a disgruntled worker,” Ghibaudy mentioned.
Native election staffers had despatched out round 173,000 absentee ballots by Friday morning. On the time, one other 1,000 have been nonetheless to be distributed.
Secretary of State Michael Adams known as the incident “extremely regarding” in an announcement on Friday. “Postal staff and postal inspectors responded shortly and responsibly, guaranteeing each poll envelope was recovered and premature delivered to the voter the identical day,” Adams mentioned. “The Secretary of State and the State Board will proceed to work intently with our companions at USPS to make sure the Commonwealths elections stay safe.”
Sooner or later earlier throughout a Louisville Rotary assembly, Adams urged voters to trace their absentee ballots on the web site govoteky.com. “Now we have barcodes on the entire poll envelopes on the way in which out and on the way in which again in,” he mentioned. “That lets you examine and see the place your poll is within the course of.”
Newsweek reached out to Balfour for additional info.