A Pennsylvania executive department responsible for enforcing the law and administering justice will examine a small number of postal voting papers trashed or otherwise disappeared.
The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed an official investigation with the cooperation of the Luzerne County Board of Elections into exactly how nine military ballots ended up being discarded.
“Of the nine ballots that were discarded and then recovered, seven were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump [and] two of the discarded ballots had been resealed inside their appropriate envelopes by Luzerne elections staff prior to recovery by the FBI and the contents of those two ballots are unknown,” U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania David Freed said in a statement. “Some of those [nine] ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot.”
The Scranton Resident Office is carrying out the inquiry at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, the Office of the U.S. Attorney, and FBI.
So far, the FBI and Pennsylvania State Police have jointly conducted several interviews and have recovered and reviewed “certain physical evidence.”
“Election officials in Luzerne County have been cooperative,” Freed said. “Our inquiry remains ongoing and we expect later … to share our up to date findings with officials in Luzerne County. It is the vital duty of government to ensure that every properly cast vote is counted.”
News of the investigation reached the White House, where press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also confirmed nine postal ballots were removed.
“I can confirm for you that Trump ballots, ballots for the president were found in Pennsylvania,” she said. “Here, in the last 24 hours, they were found cast aside.”
The FBI and Pennsylvania State Police had alleged no crime or wrongdoing at the time of publication.
However, the Oval Office expressed deep concern about the integrity of postal voting for the upcoming general election on Nov. 3.
“These ballots are a horror show,” President Donald Trump told Fox News Radio’s, the “Brian Kilmeade Show.” They found six ballots in an office yesterday in a garbage can. They were Trump ballots—eight ballots in an office yesterday but in a certain state, and they were—they had Trump written on it, and they were thrown in a garbage can.”
The president believes the inquiry in Luzerne County is a clear example of “what is going to happen” if postal voting is allowed on Election Day.
“This is what’s going to happen, and we are investigating that,” he said. “It is a terrible thing that is going on with these ballots. Who is sending them, where are they sending them, where are they going, what areas are they going to, what areas are they not going to?”