Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News
More than 20 voters received their 2020 election ballots earlier this month after the Baltimore United States Postal Service discovered a tray of undeliverable mail nearly two years too late.
The Baltimore City Board of Elections is investigating the circumstances surrounding the late delivery of the ballots. Approximately eight votes were cast for President Biden for every vote cast for then-President Trump in the heavily Democratic city, according to WMAR-TV.
“I received my 2020 General Election ballot on August 6, 2022,” said Nick Frisone, who contacted WMAR-2 News after receiving his ballot. The Baltimore voter reported that his neighbors in Highlandtown recently received theirs as well.
Frisone knew something was wrong when he didn’t receive a ballot despite being informed on Sept. 29, 2020, that the ballot would be delivered the same day.
“And then it just never came, so then I had to call the Board of Elections, and then I had to go in person to get a replacement,” said Frisone.
Despite mail-in ballots supposedly being given preference within the USPS, multiple homes in southeast Baltimore only just received 2020 ballots, causing residents to question the effectiveness of the mail-in ballot system.
Baltimore City Election Director Armstead Jones discovered the USPS mistake from some of the voters who just received their ballots.
“It would’ve been nice if they could’ve contacted us, so the voters wouldn’t have been confused,” Jones said.
Jones, who worked part-time as a postal worker in college said he understands individual pieces turning up missing, but a tray seemed excessive.
“Individual pieces can be lost, having a tray lost is a little different story. It has to be sitting somewhere around somebody and somebody needs to look and see what it is,” Jones added.
USPS spokesperson Tom Ouellette told the local news outlet in an email that the tray was discovered on Friday, Aug. 5, and was delivered the next day:
Regarding ballots seen in photographs from a customer’s email, 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.
We deeply regret the late delivery of these mailpieces. 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 U.S. Postal Service is fully committed to the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail. We are in close communication with the Baltimore City Election Board and look forward to a successful election in November.
Roughly one-third of the votes in the recent Maryland primary election came from mail-in ballots, but Frisone says it’s no longer worth the risk to vote via mail.
“It’s supposed to be easy to vote this way, but when the post office misplaces them, we can’t [vote],” Frisone said.
“If there’s another pandemic, I’ll get a hazmat suit and just go in-person.”