Dozens of blank ballots were discovered in the trash in New Jersey’s Bergen County, prompting an investigation from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) inspector general and leading to the arrest of a USPS mail carrier.
Howard Dinger told CBS2 that he discovered the blank ballots, among other pieces of mail, while throwing trash in a North Arlington-area dumpster.
“The ballots are the ballots. The election is the election. It is what it is. But these people have legal notices and checks and God knows what they’re expecting,” Dinger told the outlet.
Authorities contacted USPS police, which assured that the discarded mail ultimately reached its final destination.
“I said, man, this thing is soaking wet. It must’ve been out in water, in pond [sic] or something,” Julian Williams, whose ballot was included in the tossed mail, said.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Williams continued. “I thought that the security as far as the mail system and stuff like that was better than that. I didn’t think anybody would take something and throw it by a dumpster or anything like that, especially since it’s from the government.”
A postal employee has since been arrested in connection to the tossed mail, per WNBC-TV’s Myles Miller:
A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier from Hudson County was arrested today for discarding mail, including 99 general election ballots sent from the County Board of Elections and intended to be delivered to West Orange residents,
— . (@MylesMill) October 7, 2020
This is far from Bergen County’s only mishap related to election mail, as nearly 7,000 voters recently received ballots with the wrong congressional information. County Clerk John Hogan said that the office is aware of who received incorrect ballots and that they will receive the correct ballots shortly.
The confusion follows Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) decision to institute mass vote-by-mail for the general election following a controversial primary, which saw 40,000 mail-in ballots rejected for various reasons.
As NorthJersey reported:
- 9,700 ballots were received too late.
- 6,092 did not have the required voter certificate.
- 4,685 had signatures on the certificates that did not match the signatures on file.
- 3,732 had no ballot enclosed.
- 8,203 were classified as rejected for “other” reasons.
Additionally, roughly 1,600 ballots were discovered in a mislabeled bin months after the primary election. While they were ultimately included in the final number, they did not change the outcome of the election.
However, such discoveries continue to feed the fears over mass mail-in voting. As Breitbart News reported this week, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) is investigating after someone stole mail out of post office mailboxes in Central Virginia.
USPIS Inspector Michael Romano said he did not know whether the boxes contained “any sort of election mail.”
“If we have any indication that it is, sort of, election fraud related, we are going to work closely with our counterparts at the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine what type of theft we have and aggressively investigate this case,” he added.