An independent contractor hired to assist with the general election was responsible for discarding nine military ballots that are now the focus of an FBI investigation, Luzerne County Manager David Pedri said Friday.
The contractor began work sorting mail Sept. 14 and “incorrectly” threw away the ballots, he said. Federal investigators have said the ballots contained seven votes for President Donald Trump and two other ballots whose contents were sealed and remain unknown.
Elections Director Shelby Watchilla discovered the discarded ballots on Sept. 16 and began an internal inquiry, Pedri said.
“The temporary independent contractor was removed from service and informed not to return,” Pedri said.
The statement Friday did not address why the contractor threw the ballots away. Reached for additional comment, Pedri said the reason the person threw the ballots away is an issue for federal investigators to determine.
The ballots being received were military and overseas ballots