MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Days out from the Mobile municipal elections, FOX10 News has learned U.S. Postal Inspectors have launched an investigation into possible voter fraud involving absentee ballots.
The deadline for absentee ballots applications was Thursday, August 23. Officials confirm that inspectors are looking at quite a few suspicious envelopes.
“We do take seriously and investigate allegations of voter fraud perpetrated through the U.S. mail,” said USPS Inspector Tony Robinson. “Right now, we do have an active investigation in the Mobile area; and inspectors there will be seeing that through toward prosecution.”
Exact details surrounding the investigation are still unclear. However, city officials said they were contacted by postal officials earlier this week.
“I received a phone call from a postal inspector basically telling me that he had concern about the mailing of ballots. A number of ballots,” said Mobile City Clerk Lisa Lambert. “I told him what was the law regarding that.”
Lambert said she was told about numerous ballots with similar handwriting and voters who would consistently mail multiple ballots, almost daily.
City officials said nearly 4,000 absentee ballots have already been submitted. The 2005 mayoral election, where the Mobile mayor had numerous challengers, only saw 900 absentee ballots.
Postal inspectors said it is still too early to determine whether a criminal action has taken place.
Officials said the investigation is ongoing.
“Once the postal inspector latches on to this he will not let go until he sees it in the end,” Robinson said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office called to confirm it is not investigating the reported case.
The State Attorney General’s Office, however, would not confirm or deny an investigation.
Lambert said she does not expect the case to interfere with the Tuesday, August 27 election, since investigators were handling it.
“As long as it has a US Postal meter on it and it was not opened and there is an ID and a signed affidavit on the envelope, then it’s valid,” Lambert said.
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