USPS confirms missing ballots but ‘doesn’t have any additional information’

How is the postal service making sure ballots don’t disappear again?

The U.S. Postal Service confirms to News 6 that some primary election mail-in ballots never made to mailboxes in Seminole County in August.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The U.S. Postal Service confirms to News 6 that some primary election mail-in ballots never made to mailboxes in Seminole County in August.

“Regarding Seminole County’s primary election, we are aware that some ballots were unaccounted for after showing up in customers' Informed Delivery,” USPS spokesman David Walton said.

News 6 first uncovered the missing ballots last week.

News 6 followed up with questions to the USPS, including what happened to the ballots and if the USPS is searching for them, but didn’t get answers.

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“At this time, we do not have any additional information to provide regarding that incident,” Walton wrote. “We continue to work with the Seminole County Board of Election and look forward to a successful general election. The secure and on time delivery of Election Mail is our top priority now through the November election.”

Seminole County Elections Supervisor Chris Anderson said the USPS hasn’t given him any information on the missing ballots either.

“As a former investigator, I know the postal service has a law enforcement arm that I would hope would get involved with investigating matters like this,” Anderson said. “I have not received any intelligence, if you will, that would indicate there was nefarious behavior taking place as to why the ballots weren’t arriving on time, but at any rate someone needs to take a look at it.”

When Deanna Magee sealed up her Seminole County mail-in ballot for the primary election in August, she noticed her party affiliation printed on the back of the envelope.

Anderson said the USPS has promised him it will do better with general election mail and Anderson said he’s seeing the results.

“I can tell you this, I know when we mailed out our ballots from here I got them rather quickly this time around,” Anderson said. “So I have personally experienced an improvement.”

Anderson said mail-in ballots were mailed out last week and already on Tuesday, less than a week later, voters were returning them in person to the elections supervisor’s office in Sanford.

The USPS reinforced what Anderson is seeing.

“The U.S. Postal Service’s number one priority between now and the November election is the secure, on-time delivery of the nation’s Election Mail,” Walton wrote. "The Postal Service, our unions, and the more than 630,000 postal employees are united in this effort. As part of the ongoing preparations by the U.S. Postal Service for the November election, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy requested the issuance of an internal directive to authorize and instruct the use of additional resources to satisfy any demand and ensure that all Election Mail is prioritized and delivered securely and in a timely manner. The directive authorizes and instructs the use of these additional resources beginning on October 1 by local teams, including District Managers, Postmasters, Division Directors and Plant Managers, across all areas of operations, which include, but are not limited to, expanded processing procedures, extra transportation, extra delivery and collection trips, and overtime to ensure that Election Mail reaches its intended destination in a timely manner.

The directive also makes clear that, as it has done in previous election cycles, the Postal Service will be taking additional extraordinary measures to accelerate the delivery of ballots starting the week before Election Day."

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.