Kentucky officials found a batch of more than 100 mail-in ballots in a dumpster. The finding is part of a series of similar events that took place in recent weeks.
A Jefferson County contractor found 112 absentee ballots lying around, triggering an investigation by federal authorities, Fox News reported on Oct. 16.
The ballots had not been opened or filled out and never reached their recipients.
Two political pamphlets were also found, according to special agents from the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Office of the Inspector General.
“When the investigation is concluded, the case will be presented for federal prosecution to the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Special Agent Scott Balfour in a statement quoted by Fox News.
Balfour said the ballots and flyers were turned over to the USPS so they could be distributed.
According to Fox News, Nore Ghibaudy, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Clerk’s office, reported that voters who have not received absentee ballots by Oct. 28 can vote in person at any polling place. They need only sign an affidavit stating that they never received their ballot.
Similar cases of missing or misdirected ballots have been reported in recent weeks.
Election officials reported on Oct. 14 that about 29,000 residents of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, received ballots addressed to others due to an error at the printer and distributor.
And two postal workers were charged with federal crimes, as prosecutors said a huge amount of undelivered mail was discovered in the trash. While they found no ballots among the discarded mail, there were two requests for mail-in ballots.
A similar incident occurred in New Jersey, where a man identified as Nicholas Beauchene was arrested for discarding 99 ballots, among other mail, discarding a total of more than 1,800 pieces of mail.
Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, Hudson County, is charged with delaying, secreting, or detaining mail. He’s also been charged with mail obstruction.
The first charge could land him in prison for up to five years with a $250,000 fine, and the second is punishable by up to six months behind bars and a $5,000 fine.
In Georgia, an investigation was opened into nearly 1,000 cases of double voting that apparently occurred in 100 counties during the June primary and August run-off elections.
Wayne County, Michigan also reported problems with mail-in ballots in the Aug. 4 primary election.
At the same time, in the Nevada primary, images of ballots piled up on the sidewalk surfaced in the media and social networks.
New York City was forced to reject tens of thousands of ballots because of various irregularities in its own primary elections.
More recently, authorities in Minnesota and Texas began investigating allegations of systematic ballot fraud—including vote buying and falsification—for the benefit of Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
The Honest Elections Project warned of the danger that the postal system in many states is not prepared to receive and properly count a large number of ballots.
All of these irregularities are occurring in the last stretch of the presidential campaign. President Donald Trump has warned on several occasions that the mail voting process left several gaps that could lead to fraud and illegalities. Meanwhile, this system has been defended by Democratic candidate Joe Biden.