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Voter Ballots, Discarded Mail Found In Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree

LANDERS (CBSLA) — Discarded mail, including voter ballots, were discovered Wednesday in Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree, according to San Bernardino County sheriff's officials.

A citizen told San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies with the Morongo Basin Station that they found the discarded incoming mail, including voter ballots, in the 6500 block of Winters Road in Joshua Tree. More discarded mail was found in the 6500 block of Encelia Avenue in neighboring Twentynine Palms.

"Green Path" Energy Corridor Raises Environmental Dilemma
MORONGO VALLEY, CA - APRIL 11: Pre-dawn traffic passes rural mailboxes near Big Morongo Wildlife Preserve on April 11, 2007 in Morongo Valley, California. The preserve, faces the prospect of being affected by a proposed plan to build power lines and transmission towers to deliver "green" energy to Los Angeles from geothermal, solar, and nuclear sources in southeastern California near the Salton Sea, and Arizona. The 85-mile-long "Green Path" energy corridor being pushed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to bring nonpolluting power to Los Angeles would cut through two desert wildlife preserves, a national forest, and Pioneertown, a set used in the filming of countless westerns. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) and the mayor have been condemned by more than a dozen preservation and community groups for the project that threatens to destroy wildlife corridors, natural areas, and vistas. Big Morongo Canyon, west of Joshua Tree National Park, is designated by the Bureau of Land Management as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and is one of the 10 largest cottonwood and willow riparian, or stream, habitats in California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The recovered mail was apparently stolen from a cluster of mailboxes within the 56200 block of Reche Road in Landers, north of Joshua Tree, sheriff's officials said. An investigation determined voter ballots were not being targeted, just incoming mail.

All the residents with mailboxes in the area were contacted by deputies, and no more victims were found, authorities said. The case has been forwarded to the United States Postal Inspector for further investigation.

Vote-by-mail ballots are being sent out to homes this week, and the sheriff's department is urging voters to monitor their mailboxes due to the upcoming election. Anyone with information about this mail theft can contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175.

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