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Sacramento County voter says ballots were stolen, USPS responds

Voter concerned his ballot never came in the mail
Voter concerned his ballot never came in the mail 02:50

SACRAMENTO COUNTY —  A concerned Sacramento County voter says three election ballots may have been stolen from his mailbox and he's concerned he has lost his chance to vote. 

The concerned Elk Grove voter asked CBS13 to investigate the missing ballots after an image of the ballot was included in his U.S. Postal Service Informed Delivery service, which is a free and optional notification feature that gives notifications on mail that will arrive soon. 

The ballots went out to voters last Friday, according to a Sacramento County's Elections spokesperson. 

The concerned voter said the USPS informed delivery showed his family's ballots would be arriving earlier this week. However, by Thursday, he had yet to receive the ballots. 

Now, he's concerned the ballots were stolen from his mailbox after delivery. When he called to report the concern to the Sacramento County Elections line, the man told us his representative told him this wasn't the first time they got a call about missing ballots. 

Janna Haynes, a spokesperson for the county's elections, told CBS13 there's no way to confirm the ballot was stolen unless someone is found in possession of the ballot. However, she said the best solution for the concerned voter is to void the ballot he was supposed to receive and either request a new one or vote in person. 

A USPS spokesperson sent a statement to CBS13 on Thursday regarding the voter's concerns and reports of multiple missing ballots in Sacramento County. The spokesperson said USPS is currently experiencing delayed mail in areas of Del Paso, Royal Oaks, and Land Park, which includes ZIP codes 95838, 95813-14-15, and 95822. These delays are related to an employee shortage, and hiring is in the works. 

"Between Oct. 24 and Nov. 29, local postal management is authorized to use extraordinary measures to accelerate the delivery of ballots when the Postal Service is able to identify the mailpiece as a ballot." said a spokesperson in an emailed statement received Thursday. 

"The Postal Inspection Service employs Postal Inspectors and specialized personnel to secure and protect the critical infrastructure of the Postal Service's processing and distribution networks.  The Postal Inspection Service utilizes its full range of technical capabilities to ensure the safe, secure and efficient delivery of political mail and Election Mail to and from American voters across the country and abroad.  This includes balloting materials such as voter registration cards and absentee ballot applications. The Postal Inspection Service also protects all Postal Service employees as they deliver Election Mail to and from voters." the USPS statement continued. 

Haynes confirmed that Sacramento County Elections and the USPS are investigating a screenshot of a photo put on Facebook that allegedly shows a stack of ballots found discarded in Wilton. Haynes said this report, and the photo, have not been officially confirmed. The ballots in question have not been turned in to the county's election commission for review.

There are at least six security measures in place by the county's elections to keep votes official. One of those is a signature verification step. The envelope is compared to the signature on file for the voter from their Voter Registration Form. If the signature matches, the ballot is accepted.

Sacramento County election officials say voters should wait until October 17th for ballots to arrive. 

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