Wisconsin's U.S. senators Ron Johnson, a Republican, and Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, are calling for an investigation into missing absentee ballots in Wisconsin. (Photo illustration by Jonathon Sadowski)
Wisconsin's U.S. senators Ron Johnson, a Republican, and Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, are calling for an investigation into missing absentee ballots in Wisconsin. (Photo illustration by Jonathon Sadowski)

Senators want investigation into U.S. Postal Service over missing ballots

Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators, Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Ron Johnson, called for a federal investigation Thursday into the “numerous accounts” of hundreds, if not thousands, of missing or undelivered absentee ballots for Tuesday’s spring election.

Hundreds of ballots in Fox Point were repeatedly returned to Village Hall, three tubs of undelivered Oshkosh and Appleton ballots were discovered Wednesday, and voters across the state told UpNorthNews that they requested ballots that never arrived.

“We are concerned that there may be more examples, and request that you promptly open an investigation to determine the cause of these failures, which appear to have disenfranchised many Wisconsin voters,” the senators wrote to the Inspector General of the United States Postal Service in a joint letter.

More than one million voters requested absentee ballots in the election held amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“As the COVID-19 crisis continues and as more voters are likely to request to vote by mail where available, this year’s forthcoming elections will require that the USPS’s existing vote-by-mail procedures are strictly and effectively enforced,” the senators wrote.

Undelivered ballots were not the only issue with Tuesday’s election, which Gov. Tony Evers unsuccessfully tried to postpone until June. A critical shortage of poll workers led to astoundingly long lines, especially in Milwaukee, where just five of the city’s 182 polling locations were open.