AUSTIN (KXAN) — A photo taken by an absentee voter in Austin appears to show mail-in ballots leaking from a United States Postal Service mailbox.
Jane Hammons of Austin said she took the photo of the drop box at the USPS location at South Congress Avenue and Ben White Boulevard at 1:51 p.m. Tuesday, the first day of early voting.
“You know, I’m 67 so I have an absentee ballot,” Hammons told KXAN. “That should be super easy, just to mail it. That’s like the easiest thing ever and I couldn’t even do that. Not safely, anyway.”
By 3 p.m., KXAN verified the ballots were no longer leaking from the mailbox.
USPS responded to KXAN’s requests for information and said the back up was caused by several packages blocking the chute, which stopped the mail-in ballots from being deposited properly.
The packages were cleared up by local postal managers, USPS said. A damaged box in the same location is scheduled for a replacement.
“As an integral part of the communities we serve, the U.S. Postal Service strives every day to provide excellent service to our valued customers,” USPS said in a statement. “Unfortunately, on rare occasions, instances of mail service issues occur, and we apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced by customers of the South Congress station.”
Late Monday night, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Gov. Greg Abbott’s order that limited counties in Texas to one ballot drop off location. Mail-in ballots can still be sent through the mail using neighborhood mailboxes and on-site USPS mailboxes.
General counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens told KXAN Tuesday the organization plans to appeal the lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court.