The United States Postal Service (USPS) say the 1,200 missing absentee ballots from west-central Missouri’s Pettis County were found Thursday at USPS’ St. Louis processing and distribution center. The Post office says the missing ballots were immediately returned to Pettis County Clerk Nicholas La Strada’s office, and that the matter is under internal review.
Missourinet Sedalia affiliate KDRO (AM 1490) broke the story about the missing ballots on Wednesday, when La Strada joined morning show host Charlie Thomas for a live interview. La Strada says the 1,200 absentee ballots were delivered to the Sedalia Post Office on September 21.
His office worked until midnight Saturday to reprocess the 1,200 ballots, and those were delivered to the Sedalia post office on Tuesday morning.
“I’ve always had confidence in the post office, Charlie. I’ve been doing this business for ten years, and we’ve never had this issue. Are they going to find these ballots. I hope they do,” La Strada told KDRO on Wednesday.
During that interview, La Strada emphasized that his office will not disenfranchise the rights of Pettis County voters. He says if a voter receives a second ballot, his office and Missouri’s Centralized Voter Registration System will only allow them to receive the first ballot submitted. He said that if a second ballot is returned, it will be rejected.
Here is the full statement from USPS corporate communications St. Louis spokeswoman Kimberly Caldwell-Harvey:
“The ballots were located the morning of October 1 at our St. Louis Processing and Distribution Center and were immediately returned to the Pettis County Clerk’s office. This matter is currently under internal review. We will continue to work closely with the Pettis County Clerk and all Missouri boards of election to make sure each mail-in ballot reaches its intended destination. There is no higher priority for the Postal Service at this time than the secure, on-time delivery of the nation’s Election Mail.
Additionally, as of October 1, the Postal Service has authorized and instructed the use of additional resources nationwide, which include but are not limited to, expanded processing procedures, extra transportation, extra delivery and collection trips and overtime to ensure that Election Mail, including ballots, is delivered in a timely manner.”
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