A California man said he found dozens of ballots addressed to homes in Santa Monica stuffed inside a trashcan in an alleyway last week.
Osvaldo Jimenez told KABC he opened the garbage only to find piles of mail, including the ballots along with some bank statements and bills, that were supposed to go to nearby residences but had somehow wound up in the trash.
"I opened the trash can, and I see a lot of envelopes and ballots, especially ballot envelopes in the trash can, and I knew right away that was not normal," said Jimenez.
"I thought it was somebody playing a prank," he said. "Nobody's going to throw ballot envelopes in the trash can."
Jimenez said he fished out the mail and called the police.
While alarming, it’s certainly not the first time someone’s raised the alarm over ballots being discarded or not even delivered in the first place, and potentially on purpose. In Wisconsin, piles of mail including ballots were found dumped in a rural ditch back in September. In another incident, a USPS postal worker in New Jersey has been charged with illegally dumping mail, including nearly 100 ballots, that were intended to go to West Orange residents.
A USA Today review based on average mail-in voting data estimated that if at least half the country votes by mail in this year’s election, anywhere between 1 and 2.2 million ballots could be thrown out due to errors, improper signatures, torn envelopes, and postal mistakes.