CORRECTION: The Dispatch points out key details:
Some news stories and social media posts continue to claim that all the ballots were for Trump, but the FBI quickly corrected the figure: Both the letter and revisited statement state that seven of the ballots were cast for Trump, with two of the ballots’ votes unknown as they had been resealed.
Some claimed that the ballots were found in a ditch: There is nothing to support this in either the initial statement or later statements from the FBI. Theletterto the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections notes that “the majority of recovered materials were found in an outside dumpster.”
The Department of Justice says they found a "small number" of military ballots in Pennsylvania that were "discarded."
"On Monday, September 21, 2020, at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, the Office of the United States Attorney along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Scranton Resident Office, began an inquiry into reports of potential issues with a small number of mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections.
Since Monday, FBI personnel working together with the Pennsylvania State Police have conducted numerous interviews and recovered and reviewed certain physical evidence. Election officials in Luzerne County have been cooperative. At this point we can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded. Investigators have recovered nine ballots at this time. Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot. Of the nine ballots that were discarded and then recovered, 7 were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump. Two of the discarded ballots had been resealed inside their appropriate envelopes by Luzerne elections staff prior to recovery by the FBI and the contents of those 2 ballots are unknown.
Our inquiry remains ongoing and we expect later today to share our up to date findings with officials in Luzerne County. It is the vital duty of government to ensure that every properly cast vote is counted."
In Wisconsin, the Outagamie County Sheriff's Office discovered the trays of mail in a ditch on Tuesday morning.
WLUK-TV reports that the mail was returned to the U.S. Postal Service, and an investigation is underway.
A USPS spokesman told WLUK-TV, "the United States Postal Inspection Service immediately began investigating, and we reserve further comment on this matter until that is complete."