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USPS opens investigation into Enfield absentee ballot controversy

Politics

ENFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — The USPS has opened an investigation into a report that hundreds of absentee ballots in Enfield arrived to the town clerk well after election day.

Millions of ballot applications were mailed out to all Connecticut residents starting last week ahead of Election Day in November.

Wednesday, Douglas Howell, a first-time absentee ballot voter, dropped off his ballot application in-person to the Enfield Town Hall. He said it’s “faster, easier, I know it’s there.”

This after hundreds of absentee ballots mailed in to the Enfield Town Hall for the Primary Election in August did not arrive until after election day.

News 8 reported this exclusive Tuesday, showing hundreds of absentee ballots in the Enfield Town Hall vault were delivered two weeks after election day.

RELATED: Hundreds of absentee ballots returned after primary election in Enfield will not be counted

Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, Amy Gibbs told News 8’s Jodi Latina, “We are aware of 114 ballots that arrived two weeks after the August 11 election at the Enfield Town Clerk’s office…Postal management is researching the matter and will have no further comment until that investigation is complete.”

News 8 has also learned some of the late ballots came from voters living in these neighborhoods: Magnolia Street, Douglas Drive, Plainfield Street, Lake Drive, and Jondot Drive.

None of the voters affected wanted to go on camera but they all shared the same story. They filled out their ballot as soon as they got it and put it in the mail. Some report they even put it in their private mailbox one week before the Aug. 11 Primary.

The post mark from the USPS and the Enfield Town Clerk were both Aug. 27th.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said, “In this case, they were both postmarked and received well after the election, which is a more complicated question.”

Secretary Merrill is concerned. She recently visited the Hartford post office which sorts Enfield’s mail.

“I saw for myself, they had dismantled the sorting equipment in Hartford. We spoke with them and they claim they have enough capacity to deliver our election mail in a timely way,” added Merrill.

For the August Primary, Governor Ned Lamont allowed ballots to count as long as they were postmarked by the election. For November, the guidance is different.

“We want to make sure those ballots are received by election day, not postmarked. And we want to do that because we want to count the votes on a timely basis,” said Governor Lamont.

Election officials say your best bet: fill out the paperwork and drop it in the ballot box at your town hall.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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