Police in a town east of Seattle said Friday that numerous mailboxes had been stolen from people’s mailboxes and placed or dumped elsewhere.
The post office alerted the Samamish police department “that unopened or incomplete ballots are inappropriately placed in outboxes,” the city of Samamish said on Friday.
Police also investigated mailbags containing ballots on the roads and in the ditches.
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The post office delivered about 90% of the ballots to Samamish on Thursday, and the discarded mail was found on Friday morning when carriers were delivering other packages.
Police are trying to redirect the ballots back to the desired recipients.
The incident is the latest in a series of mail ballot accidents as voters try to avoid polling stations during a coronavirus pandemic.
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A New Jersey postman was arrested earlier this month after 1,875 items were found there, including 99 ballots.
Two postal workers were arrested and charged with dumping piles of mail this week in a critical Pennsylvania state field.
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Despite these problems, bulletins seem mostly safe and fraudulent. According to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, only 208 of the 1,298 proven cases of voter fraud in the past two decades are related to absentee ballots.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.