USPS confirmed this week that it “discovered” a tray of the mail-in ballots earlier this month and that the 26 blank ballots were finally delivered on August 6.
“We deeply regret the late delivery of these mailpieces,” USPS spokesperson Tom Ouellette told WMAR-2 News. “The Postal Service takes these issues very seriously and is working to help avoid issues like this by going over our processes and procedures with all employees ahead of the general elections.”
The statement explicitly confirmed that the Postal Service “discovered a tray of undelivered mail in a Baltimore facility on Friday, Aug. 5. The tray’s mail was from year 2020 and contained what appeared to be 26 blank ballots mailed from the Baltimore City Board of Election to addresses with a Baltimore ZIP Code. Those mailpieces were delivered Saturday, Aug. 6.”
“The U.S. Postal Service is fully committed to the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail,” Ouellette added. “We are in close communication with the Baltimore City Election Board and look forward to a successful election in November.”
One man who received his ballot nearly two years later, Nick Frisone, told WMAR-2 News that he knew his ballot had gone missing back on September 29, 2020, when he received an Informed Delivery email notifying him that the ballot would be delivered that day, and then never showed up.
“And then it just never came,” he explained, “so then I had to call the Board of Elections and then I had to go in-person to get a replacement.”
It’s unclear if Frisone’s other neighbors took similar action and had their voices heard in the 2020 election.
Baltimore City Election Director Armstead Jones said the Maryland State Board of Elections will address the issue.
“It would’ve been nice if they could’ve contacted us, so the voters wouldn’t have been confused,” Jones said.
“Individual pieces can be lost, having a tray lost is a little different story,” the election director added. “It has to be sitting somewhere around somebody and somebody needs to look and see what it is.”
Mail-in voting took off during the 2020 election out of supposed concern about spreading the COVID virus. Notably, there was a large overlap between politicians pushing the mail-in voting to “stop the spread” and those promoting Black Lives Matter and other left-wing protests around the same time.
It’s unclear why one would be okay and not the other concerning COVID spread.