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Trashed military ballots will be counted; investigation continuing

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials at the Joint Field Office(JFO) Baton Rouge. (Jacinta Quesada/FEMA)

All nine military ballots that were found trashed last month in Luzerne County will be counted, Luzerne County Manager David Pedri announced Monday in an email to county council members and other officials.

Pedri said all the ballots — which were seized as part of an FBI investigation — will be returned to the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections and be counted in the 2020 general election.

The announcement came after consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of State and federal investigators, Pedri wrote.

“We want to thank them for their assistance in closing this matter out as we prepare for the November election,” Pedri said. “We have been informed that the status of the investigation is still ongoing.”

County officials say an independent contractor hired to help with the election “incorrectly” trashed the nine ballots, which were found in a dumpster.

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Federal investigators have said the ballots contained seven votes for President Donald Trump and two other ballots whose contents were sealed and remain unknown.

No charges have been filed.

While Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has said the ballots appeared to have been discarded as a result of a “bad error” rather than fraud, Trump has seized on the issue on the campaign trail by casting doubt on the mail-in ballot process.

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(c) 2020 The Citizens’ Voice

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.