BUTLER COUNTY (VINnews) — Potentially up to thousands of mail-in ballots have been reported missing in Butler County, PA, according to a county official.
The Butler County Bureau of Elections director first announced on Wednesday that an unknown amount of mail-in ballots were lost by the postal service. Many voters who requested a ballot say that they never arrived.
“At first we thought that maybe it just was a delay in the postal system,” Leslie Osche, chair of the Butler County commissioners, told KDKA. “And that could still be the case. But nonetheless, when we realized that, we changed our strategy and now have begun to tell folks that if they haven’t received a ballot, they still have multiple options.”
The U.S. Postal Service has been asked to immediately investigate what may have occurred.
While the matter is under investigation, the Butler County Bureau of Elections requests that voters fill out a provisional ballot at Bureau of Elections, or at their polling location on Election Day.
Applying for an absentee ballot is no longer an option for these voters, as the deadline for that was Tuesday.
The U.S. Postal Service insists that they are doing all they can to locate the missing ballots, saying on Wednesday, “Regarding mail sorting and delivery in Butler County, the Postal Service is unaware of any significant delays or issues and is in regular contact with the Board of Election as we work to locate and deliver ballots as they are presented to us.”
Butler County voted decisively for President Trump in 2016 by a significant margin.
Butler County voters cast 24,542 ballots for Trump, according to initial numbers on election night. Trump’s opponent Hilary Clinton received just 9,835 votes, which comes out to just over 28 percent.
This means that President Trump has the most to lose if the election process in Butler County is negatively impacted in 2020.