Postal Service Investigating After Mail-In Ballots Found Discarded on Hollywood Sidewalk
The U.S. Postal Service and Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office said they are investigating an incident where a woman allegedly found a box containing 104 unopened mail-in ballots on a sidewalk over the weekend in Hollywood.
“Our office was notified over the weekend of a mail tray found containing approximately 104 unopened, outbound Vote by Mail ballots and additional mail pieces,” the LA County Registrar’s Office told local media outlets in a statement on Monday evening. “Thanks to the cooperation of the person who found the ballots, we were able to quickly respond and coordinate the secure pickup of the ballots.”
The office said that “early signs” suggest that the incident was “mail theft” and wasn’t “a directed attempt at disrupting the election.”
The county’s primary election is set for June 7.
New ballots were reissued to impacted voters, according to the statement. The office is also now cooperating with the U.S. Postal Service and law enforcement to investigate the matter
Also in its statement, the office said that “security protocols such as signature verification are in place to protect against any misuse or wrongdoing” in dealing with mail-in ballots.
“I turned the corner and I just saw this box of envelopes, and it was a USPS box. I picked some envelopes up and I saw they were ballots,” Repaci told Fox11. Later, she called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and several politicians.
“I actually called the Sheriff’s Department. I couldn’t get through, so I emailed them,” she remarked. “I got an email back from a deputy basically in so many words saying it wasn’t their problem, and to contact the USPS.”
The woman added that eventually, the County Registrar’s Office contacted her, and Registrar Dean Logan personally drove to obtain the ballots from Repaci.
“It was so much stress and for just one person to get back to me. What do I do here? Now if it happens to someone else, they don’t know what to do,” he said. “They’ll just put them in a dumpster or throw them in the trash. I just don’t think it should have been this hard to figure out what to do with legal ballots. This is a country of freedom and our votes should matter and something like this should never happen.”
Mail-in ballots have been flagged by Republicans and others as being flawed and insecure. Following the 2020 election, which saw a significant expansion of vote-by-mail policies, a number of Republican-led states have introduced measures to limit such measures.
About a month ago, meanwhile, an election watchdog found that at least 137,500 absentee ballots were cast in Wisconsin’s largest cities during the 2020 election via unlawful vote trafficking. The watchdog group, TTV, said it made the analysis after it purchased some 10 trillion unique cell phone identity signals, known as “pings,” to reconstruct the movements of ballot box intermediaries during that election.