The owner of Reliance Market at 20th and Castro streets in San Francisco witnessed every mail-in-ballot-casting voter’s worst nightmare this past Friday: a local mailbox being broken into and purged of ballots.
As reported by ABC7, the owner of Reliance Market, a small corner store in The Castro, saw a vandal tamper, break into, and sift through a mailbox outside his shop Friday night.
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Sami Wahab, the owner of Reliance Market, told ABC7 he saw the thief drop "at least one ballot," though he worries more ballots might have been stolen, discarded, or fiddled with.
"[I got] really upset when I [saw this was] happening," said Wahab to the local news outlet. "We really need to have a fair election."
Wahab later found one discarded ballot and handed it to a neighborhood postal worker to be properly collected.
Surveillance footage shows the vandal — who looks to be male, wearing an oversized gray hoodie and front-facing baseball cap — using some sort of stringed contraption to "fish" through the mailbox, pulling up letters and ballots; the video also shows the criminal fleeing in what looks like an early-2000s gray Toyota Corolla.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is actively looking into the incident and is asking that anyone with information regarding the crime contact them at 1-877-876-2455.
This recent mailbox tampering comes during a time of increased mail theft across the country, according to NBC News. Between more goods than ever being delivered by mail due to the pandemic and omnipresent financial hardships, Postal Inspection Service data gathered by the news outlet showed more than 177,000 mail theft reports have been recorded so far in 2020 — a stark uptick from last year's 99,506 reports.
And don't forget: you can track your mail-in ballot at ballottrax.net to see if it's been delivered and counted.
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Image: Courtesy of Getty Images via plasticsteak1