On Monday morning, police in Greenville, Wisconsin found mail containing absentee ballots in a ditch in Outagamie County.
The county’s Sheriff’s Office discovered three trays of mail in a ditch near Appleton International Airport. The mail has since been returned to the U.S. Postal Service.
According to the police, the mail was on its way to the post office. U.S. Postal Service spokesman Francis Pilon did not comment on how many absentee ballots were found and recovered, but he confirmed on Thursday that an investigation is currently ongoing.
“We are aware of some mail including absentee ballots recovered in Greenville, Outagamie County earlier this week,” he said. “The U.S. Postal Service is investigating this matter, and we are unable to comment further at this time.”
Pilon refused to elaborate on whether the ballots had already been completed and on their way to election officials, or whether they were just being mailed to voters for completion.
Outagamie County Clerk Lori O’Bright said that municipal clerks had begun mailing out absentee ballots on September 17. O’Bright added that anyone with concerns about their absentee ballots should contact their municipal clerk.
Voters in Wisconsin can check the progress of their absentee ballots by visiting myvote.wi.gov and clicking on “Track My Ballot.” By simply entering their name and date of birth, voters can track whether their ballot request has been received, processed, mailed out, or received by the clerk’s office.
The mail incident happened amid the concerns about election fraud. The scrutiny of the U.S. Postal Service and the mail-in ballots is intensifying as the election gets nearer.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, states have expanded eligibility for mail-in voting. Thousands of ballots were left uncounted during Wisconsin’s primary because they were discovered on the day after the election.
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero ordered the Postal Service to prioritize election mail on Monday.
“The right to vote is too vital a value in our democracy to be left in a state of suspense in the minds of voters weeks before a presidential election, raising doubts as to whether their votes will ultimately be counted,” Marrero said.
“Conflicting, vague, and ambivalent managerial signals could also sow substantial doubt about whether the USPS is up to the task, whether it possesses the institutional will power and commitment to its historical mission, and so to handle the exceptional burden associated with a profoundly critical task in our democratic system, that of collecting and delivering election mail a few weeks from now,” he added.
Wisconsin is a must-win state for both Biden and Trump in the 2020 race. A poll was conducted by Ipsos, which they released on Monday. The results showed that Trump is 5 points behind Biden. The poll surveyed 609 likely voters, and the credibility interval was plus or minus 3.5 points.
Either way, it looks like President Trump has to step it up a bit in Wisconsin.