The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) confirmed Saturday morning that investigators have discovered six completed ballots and 42 blank ones Friday afternoon at the location.
“The Office of Inspector General special agents confirmed the presence of delayed mail and subsequently located approximately 48 pieces of election mail,” Special Agent in Charge Scott Pierce in a statement. “The U.S. Postal Service immediately arranged for the deliver of the election mail.”
Florida’s election law requires that mail-in ballots must be received by county elections departments by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.
According to Miami-Dade County Elections Department, 18 of the affected voters have already cast ballots in person at an early voting site or through a replacement mail-in ballot. The election officials said they have received the six completed ballots and are working with the remaining 24 voters to make sure their ballot are received by the deadline.
“I have requested that all postal distribution centers be audited and any and all ballots that may remain in these centers be immediately transported to the Department of Elections,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.
The pileup of mail was first reported by Florida House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, who on Friday posted a video on Twitter that appeared to show mail stacked up at a post office. Hours later, he posted another video showing what he said were postal service investigators on the scene.
“Raw footage of mailroom in post office here in Miami Dade,” McGhee, a Democrat, wrote in the initial Twitter post. “Source revealed ‘mail in ballots are within these piled up in bins on the floor. Mail has been sitting for over week!'” He did not identify his source.
McGhee said the video suggested that the state has “a lot more work to do” to ensure that the integrity of its voting and postal systems.
“It is unthinkable that these ballots have been sitting in boxes day after day, potentially denying people a voice in their democracy,” he said in a statement. “I call on the Postal Service to correct this and promise the citizens of Miami-Dade that these ballots will be delivered in time. I call on Laurel Lee, Florida’s Secretary of State, and Governor Ron DeSantis to use their power and influence to guarantee every valid vote in Florida is counted.”