On Monday, a U.S. mail truck caught fire and burned to a smoldering heap, and officials believe the truck may have been carrying a load of Georgia absentee ballots.
Georgia mail truck potentially carrying absentee ballots destroyed by fire https://t.co/ojPi55lZeb
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 26, 2022
The fire occurred approximately ten miles southwest of Albany near a farm in Pretoria/Tarva. Pictures released by the Baker County Sheriff’s Office show the mail truck melting in the intense heat of the fire.
The driver of the mail truck, which was a Jeep Wrangler, made it out of the fire without injury, but the flames totaled the car and turned its contents to ashes.
On Tuesday, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office held a press conference and said that election officials were already in communication with the election director for that area.
Interim Deputy Secretary of State Gabriel Sterling explained the steps taken by the office to remedy the destroyed ballots.
“There are 43 outstanding ballots in the county,” Sterling detailed. “We’re working with USPS to see if they have images of what might have been on that truck, to reissue them.”
“Worst comes to worst, we’ll reissue the 43 ballots or the county will reissue the 43 ballots, and first across the line for those voters will be the ballots that are accepted,” she added.
Sterling downplayed the incident as a typical example of what state election officials deal with during election season.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger tweeted on Tuesday that more than a million votes had already been collected for the state’s midterm election. The number of early votes for the current election far exceeds the early vote turnout in the 2018 election, when less than 600,000 Georgians had turned in early ballots by this time.
According to recent reports, the state received 100,000 absentee ballots on Tuesday, while 124,000 Georgians attended polls in person to cast their vote during the early voting period.
“It has been fantastic to see, among Georgians, record early voting turnout every single day this week,” said Republican National Committee Georgia Spokesperson Garrison Douglas.