A Kentucky postal worker who allegedly threw out more than 100 absentee ballots in a dumpster on Thursday has been fired by the U.S. Postal Service and may face federal prosecution.
The Postal Service Office of Inspector General discovered 112 discarded absentee ballots intended for voters in ZIP code 40299, which is located in the Louisville metro area, as well as two political fliers that had also been discarded.
The unidentified individual responsible for throwing out the ballots in a dumpster near Jeffersontown has been fired and his case has been accepted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for federal prosecution, the USPS Office of the Inspector General said.
“Federal privacy concerns preclude me from providing any more details about their employment,” special agent Scott Balfour commented.
The ballots, which were all unopened and had not been filled out, had been sent out by the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office on Oct. 3 and were delivered to voters on Thursday after they were recovered.
Some voters had called the clerk’s office and complained about not receiving their ballots. The office had been planning to mail out new ballots to the affected voters.
“I will point out that the vast majority of the Postal Service’s 630,000 employees are hard-working, trustworthy individuals who work around the clock to deliver the nation’s mail, and incidents of this nature are exceedingly rare when put into that context,” Balfour stressed.
Earlier this month, a postal worker in New Jersey was arrested for allegedly discarding 99 ballots for the November election along with other mail.
Several other states have had issues with sending out mail ballots, including New York, where some Brooklyn residents reported receiving their absentee ballot along with a “official absentee ballot envelope” with an incorrect name and address.
Voting by mail has become a fraught issue leading up to the November election. Democrats have encouraged voters to submit their ballot by mail to protect themselves from potential exposure to the coronavirus at polling places. Meanwhile, President Trump has opposed the widespread use of mail-in ballots, saying it is a breeding ground for voter fraud and “puts the election at risk.”