Georgia mail truck goes up in flames; state says absentee ballots may have been consumed in fire

Secretary of State's office says dozens of ballots may be re-issued.

Updated: October 26, 2022 - 11:02am

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A mail truck engulfed in flames in a Georgia county may have carried midterm absentee ballots up in smoke with it, state officials said this week. 

The Baker County Sheriff's Office shared photographs of the enflamed mail truck on its Facebook page on Monday, writing that the fire "claimed the jeep and a lot of U.S. Mail." Jeeps are often used as postal delivery vehicles in rural areas.

"The mail delivery driver was unharmed," the sheriff's office said, adding that the local post office had a manifest of the mail lost to the fire if local residents needed to inquire about a delivery.

At a Tuesday press conference, meanwhile, the Georgia Secretary of State's office said it was working to determine if any, and how many, mail-in ballots may have been lost to the blaze. 

“There are 43 outstanding ballots in the county," Interim Deputy Secretary of State Gabriel Sterling told media. "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," Sterling said. 

Georgia in the 2022 midterms is electing both a governor, several U.S. representatives, a U.S. senator, and multiple other statewide and local offices.