Residents in two quadrants of Washington, D.C., say they found dozens of mail-in ballots bundled together and sitting out in the open at mailboxes and apartment complexes.
There’s no evidence the ballots were tampered with or that fraud was taking place, but residents are concerned given the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots expected this November — they don't want to fuel unfounded claims that voting by mail isn’t secure.
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One stack of mail in ballots was found in an unsecured mailbox near 5th and K streets Southeast, around the Navy Yard neighborhood.
Across town in Columbia Heights, another photo was snapped of ballots bundled together with other mail in a mailbox area. They were just sitting out in the open.
“It’s definitely a little concerning,” Edward Daniels, the ANC Commissioner for 6D07, said. “I don’t think it’s alarming, I think that D.C. is preparing very well for mail-in ballots.”
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Daniels said he quickly called the D.C. Board of Elections to address the issue and was happy with the response he had received.
The D.C. Board of Elections says that mail carriers serving these homes failed to deliver the ballots properly.
“USPS should be delivering these right into your mailbox,” said Nick Jacobs, a D.C. Board of Elections spokesperson.
He says the postal service sent the carrier back out to deliver the ballots correctly.
“[USPS] shared our alarm,” Jacobs said.
In a statement to News4 on Wednesday evening, USPS said it has addressed the issue.
“We have discussed this issue with the Board of Election and addressed correct delivery procedures with our employees, which includes secure delivery of individual ballots, and look forward to a successful general election,” the statement read.
Issues with mail delivery in D.C. predate election season and the pandemic. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote the Postmaster General in December 2018 to address concerns that residents weren't getting mail consistently and properly.