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La. absentee ballot showing vote for President Trump found stolen, opened and dumped in TX trash
BATON ROUGE – Federal mail investigators are trying to track down a Louisiana absentee voter in Texas whose mail-in ballot was found opened and left in the trash, presumably stolen from a mail facility in Houston.
“Postal Inspectors are working to identify [the voter] and will work swiftly with the local election commission to ensure any affected mail is routed to the appropriate party,” a US Post Office spokesperson told Houston TV station KPRC.
KPRC reported, a ballot bound for Baton Rouge was one of two found in a dumpster at a Houston apartment complex. The Baton Rouge ballot was open and showed a vote for President Donald Trump, the TV station reported.
A second ballot was being sent to an address in California. It was not opened.
In addition to the two ballots, legal documents were also found at the dumpster.
Investigators believe the mail was taken from a USPS collection box in Houston and are investigating whether some of the dumped mail was stolen from a second mail site. People whose mail was stolen later told investigators they used different drop-off locations before the mail was found in the dumpster.
A complex maintenance worker found the mail, secured it and notified authorities.
KPRC reported security cameras show two men dumping white postal bins into the dumpster around 3:30 Thursday morning. They were wearing hoodies covering their faces and security cameras missed the vehicle’s license plate.
At the mail drop site, the blue postal box was wrapped in plastic by investigators, blocking anyone from leaving mail in the box. The box appeared to have been damaged, showing signs it was pried open.
The Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office released a statement after being notified of the stolen ballot:
"The incident is currently under investigation by [the Louisiana] Elections Compliance Unit,” Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said. “Texas election officials have made contact with the East Baton Rouge Registrar of Voters, and we are working with the ROV to contact the voter and offer a voting solution.”
The EBR Registrar's office said it is involved in the situation. Friday morning, Steve Raborn said his office was attempting to contact the voter to offer a replacement ballot.
Absentee ballot statuses can be checked by visiting voterportal.sos.la.gov, filling in the appropriate voter information and clicking “Check Absentee Ballot Status.” Should a voter’s absentee ballot not be received by the deadline, the voter can still vote in-person on Election Day.
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