USPS Inspectors Find 13 Undelivered Ballots, Deliver Them

The update to the court suggests there are not hundreds of thousands of ballots missing in USPS facilities.
Image: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

The Postal Inspection Service found 13 undelivered ballots across the inspection facilities a judge ordered the USPS to search prior to 3 p.m. on Election Day, a far cry from the alarmist reports claiming more than 300,000 ballots supposedly undelivered based on a misinterpretation of reported USPS data.

In an update to the court filed on Wednesday morning, Daniel Brubaker of the Postal Inspection Service certified his agency conducted sweeps of the facilities in Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland and Arizona as ordered by the court to check for missing ballots. Out of all those facilities, they found three ballots in Johnston, Pennsylvania, and ten in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and these ballots were "expedited by management for delivery."


The controversy originated on Election Day when reporters noticed court filings in which the USPS reported some 300,000 pieces of election mail scanned into their mail stream but never scanned out for delivery. But there are perfectly reasonable explanations for this which the USPS has repeatedly explained to the court in previous filings. In short, the USPS has been taking "extraordinary measures" to expedite ballot delivery, particularly in the last few days, that involve removing ballots from the normal processing process and getting them directly to election officials. 

While this accomplishes the goal of delivering ballots faster, it makes the USPS's data look worse, something 26-year USPS veteran Kevin Bray explained in Wednesday's court filing as well. 

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Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District court of Washington, D.C. is holding a status update at 12 p.m. EST regarding why the USPS could not accomplish the ordered sweep by his imposed deadline of 3 p.m. The USPS argues it already had sweeps scheduled for between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and could not get them done sooner. 

Either way, the USPS certified the sweeps were completed and only those 13 ballots were found. In other words, there is no evidence at this point that suggests there is a stash of missing ballots waiting to swing the election.