Police in a town just east of Seattle said Friday that several mail votes have been stolen from people’s mailboxes and placed or discarded elsewhere.
The post office warned Sammamish police “that unopened or incomplete polls are inappropriately placed in outgoing mailboxes,” the town of Sammamish said Friday.
Police have also investigated bags of mail that had ballot papers at roadside and in ditches.
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The postal service delivered about 90% of the ballot papers in Sammamish on Thursday, and the discarded mail was found Friday morning as the carriers delivered other packages.
Police are trying to redirect the ballot papers back to their intended recipients.
The incident is the latest in a series of mishaps with mail polls as voters try to avoid polling stations during the coronavirus pandemic.
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A New Jersey postal worker was arrested earlier this month after 1,875 items, including 99 postal votes, were found in a landfill there.
Two postal workers were arrested and charged with throwing piles of mail this week in the critical battlefield state of Pennsylvania.
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Despite these problems, mail reconciliation mostly seems to be safe and free of fraud. According to the Heritage Foundation, a Conservative think tank, only 208 of 1,298 documented cases of voter fraud over the past two decades were related to absentee ballots.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.