InvestigatorsMatter for Mallory


Mail-in ballots from 2020 discovered in Baltimore USPS facility

usps tray.png
Posted at 6:00 AM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 18:12:36-04

BALTIMORE — Some Baltimore City voters just received their mail-in ballots from 2020. The Baltimore City Board of Elections is now trying to understand how this happened.

Mail-in ballots are supposed to be prioritized, but for a block of homes in Southeast Baltimore theirs came nearly two years after they were supposed to be delivered.

“I received my 2020 General Election ballot on August 6, 2022,” said Nick Frisone, who contacted WMAR-2 News after receiving his ballot. His neighbors in Highlandtown recently received theirs as well.

Frisone knew his ballot had gone missing. On September 29, 2020 an Informed Delivery email notified him that his ballot would be delivered that day.

“And then it just never came, so then I had to call the Board of Elections and then I had to go in-person to get a replacement,” said Frisone.

USPS declined WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii’s interview request. In an email, USPS spokesperson Tom Ouellette wrote:

“Regarding ballots seen in photographs from a customer’s email, the Postal Service discovered a tray of undelivered mail in a Baltimore facility on Friday, Aug. 5. The tray’s mail was from year 2020 and contained what appeared to be 26 blank ballots mailed from the Baltimore City Board of Election to addresses with a Baltimore ZIP Code. Those mailpieces were delivered Saturday, Aug. 6.

We deeply regret the late delivery of these mailpieces. The Postal Service takes these issues very seriously and is working to help avoid issues like this by going over our processes and procedures with all employees ahead of the general elections. The U.S. Postal Service is fully committed to the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail. We are in close communication with the Baltimore City Election Board and look forward to a successful election in November.”

“It would’ve been nice if they could’ve contacted us, so the voters wouldn’t have been confused,” said Baltimore City Election Director Armstead Jones, who learned about the mishap from some of those voters.

Jones worked as a part-time postal worker in college and understands mail can sometimes go missing.

“Individual pieces can be lost, having a tray lost is a little different story. It has to be sitting somewhere around somebody and somebody needs to look and see what it is,” Jones added.

The Maryland State Board of Elections meets with USPS regularly to discuss any issues, and Jones said this one will be addressed.

If for some reason, voters don’t receive their mail-in ballot, they should contact their local Board of Elections for a status update. If it gets down to the wire, voters should visit their local polling place during early voting or on election day.

“They’ll give you a provisional ballot to fill out and if they do discover there’s a ballot here from you, then the first one will count,” said Jones.

A third of all votes in the Primary Election came from mail-in ballots proving many voters prefer this convenience. Frisone, however, said it's not worth the risk or the wait.

“It’s supposed to be easy to vote this way, but when the post office misplaces them, we can’t,” said Frisone.

“Do you think you’ll ever go back to mail-in voting?” Sofastaii asked him.

“Probably not. I mean, if there’s another pandemic, I’ll get a hazmat suit and just go in-person,” Frisone responded.

Voting by mail in the 2022 Gubernatorial General Election
The deadline to request a ballot online or by mail is November 1, 2022 for the Gubernatorial General Election. If this deadline has passed and you would like to vote a mail-in ballot, please go to your local board of elections. You can pick up your ballot there and either vote and return it then or take your ballot with you and return it by mail or at a ballot drop box.

Once your application is submitted, you can check the status of your application here.

Maryland voters who have requested a mail-in ballot for the Gubernatorial General Election can expect to receive their ballot beginning at the end of September.

If you chose to receive your ballot by email, you will receive an email with a link that will allow you to print and mail your ballot.

Your mail-in ballot must be mailed or dropped in a ballot drop box location by 8 pm on Election Day, November 8 for the Gubernatorial General Election. If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked on or before each election day to be counted.