Federal officials say that absentee ballots being sent to U.S. military serving in Afghanistan may have been burned in a plane crash.
A top official in the Federal Voting Assistance Program this week notified election officials across the nation that a transport plane crashed at Shindad Air Base on Oct. 19.
The crash resulted in the destruction of 4,700 pounds of mail inbound to troops serving in the area.
Federal officials in their email to state election offices said they did not know if any ballots were destroyed. They also said the lost mail was limited to one zip code.
But they recommended that election officials resend a new ballot to anyone who requested one since the first ballot may have been destroyed in the crash and fire.
The extent of this “limited to one zip code” nonsense could be a red herring as according to an alert the zip code in question is an air base in Afghanistan:
According to an alert received by the Bexar County Elections Department from military voting assistance officials, the crash of the transport plane at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan destroyed the aircraft and the 4,700 pounds of mail it was delivering to the combat zone.
Military officials weren’t immediately sure if it was carrying ballots, so they issued the nationwide call to local election officials to see if they may have sent ballots to a ZIP code serving three installations in Afghanistan — Camps Shindand, Farah and Stone, also called Herat.
“If you have sent any ballots to the ZIP code 09382, we recommend you attempt to contact the voter and resend a new ballot, as the first ballot may have been destroyed in the crash and fire,” the alert said.
I suspect it will be nigh impossible to get replacement ballots printed/mailed in time (or local boards of elections to even be notified of the situation), so it’s safe to say a large contingent of troops serving in Afghanistan will not have their votes counted in this very contentious election.