LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A U.S. Postal employee “is no longer employed” and could face federal charges after absentee ballots were found in a dumpster near Jeffersontown on Thursday.

In a release, Special Agent Scott Balfour from the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General said agents identified the postal employee they believe is responsible for discarding the mail and that person is “no longer employed by USPS.” Balfour said federal privacy concerns don’t allow him to comment further about the employment status and cannot share details of the investigative interview. Balfour said they have no reason to believe this person has done this before.

“I will point out that the vast majority of the Postal Service’s 630,000 employees are hard-working, trustworthy individuals who work around the clock to deliver the nation’s mail, and incidents of this nature are exceedingly rare when put into that context,” Balfour said in a statement.

He also said anyone can report crimes committed by postal employees to the hotline at 888-USPS-OIG or www.uspsoig.gov.

On Thursday, the USPS was notified that a contractor found undelivered mail in a dumpster on Galene Drive near Tully Elementary in Jeffersontown. Agents recovered the mail that included 112 absentee ballots and two political advertisements. All the mail was to be delivered to the 40299 zip code. That is an area primarily in the boundaries of Bardstown Road, Interstate 64, Hurstbourne Parkway and Interstate 265.

All the ballots and political flyers were returned to the USPS and delivered to customers.

Absentee ballots must be returned and postmarked by Election Day, Nov. 3, and received by Nov. 6. Anyone who requested an absentee ballot cannot vote in-person unless they have not received their ballot by Oct. 28. The election board can check the status of a ballot. 

Ballot drop boxes are inside at the four early voting centers in Jefferson County at the KFC Yum! Center, Kentucky Expo Center, African American Heritage Center and Marriott East. A ballot drop box is also inside the Edison Center.

To check the status of your absentee ballot, click here

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will determine what charges the individual will be facing. USPS Office of Inspector General special agents will present a report of the investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s Office when completed.

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