A woman walking her dog in Los Angeles on Saturday night made a surprising discovery, KTTV 11 reports.
"I turned the corner and I just saw this box of envelopes, and it was a USPS box,” Christina Repaci told the station. “I picked some envelopes up and I saw they were ballots.”
According to KTTV, the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office and the United States Postal Service are investigating Repaci’s find of 104 unopened mail-in ballots left on an East Hollywood sidewalk.
While trying to figure out what to do next, Repaci told the station she took the ballots home to ensure their safety and sent videos of them to popular social media accounts to get advice on her next step.
She also called the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a few politicians as she attempted to locate the right people to take custody of the ballots.
"I actually called the Sheriff's Department,” she said. “I couldn't get through, so I emailed them. I got an email back from a deputy basically, in so many words, saying it wasn't their problem, and to contact the USPS."
Repaci said she was contacted by the registrar’s office about picking the ballots up and that Registrar Dean Logan came to her home to pick up the box.
"He [Logan] picked them up,” she said. “I made sure he was legit. He gave me a card and took a photo of the box.”
The registrar’s office said that it has reissued new ballots to the affected voters.
“Early signs indicate that this was an incident of mail theft and not a directed attempt at disrupting the election,” the office said in a statement. “We are cooperating with the United States Postal Service and law enforcement to investigate.”
Repaci said the ordeal was “stressful.”
“I just don't think it should have been this hard to figure out what to do with legal ballots,” she said. “This is a country of freedom, and our votes should matter and something like this should never happen.”
According to the registrar’s office, security protocols such as signature verification are in place to prevent misuse of mail-in ballots.
A Democrat political operative told the New York Post before the 2020 election, however, that fraud is more the rule than the exception, especially with mail-in ballots.
“An election that is swayed by 500 votes, 1,000 votes — it can make a difference,” the source said. “It could be enough to flip states.”
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