KATY, Texas – The two envelopes labeled as official election mail and addressed to the Dale County Absentee Election Manager in Ozark, Alabama were found in the Houston area.
Denise Fierros said the mail was delivered to her hundreds of miles away in Katy this week.
“My daughter had brought the mail in. And, she said, ‘Hey, ya know, we have two ballots?’” she said.
Fierros said she received the envelopes on Thursday, two days after Election Day. They were postmarked Oct. 20.
“There is something wrong somewhere because you as a person expect when you put something in the mail to get to its destination. So how many times has this happened?” Fierros questioned.
The return address on one of the envelopes is for David Pittman from Midland City, Ala.
“I just don’t understand how that zip code like ours could be wound up at a zip code in Texas which is so different,” Pittman said over the phone.
Pittman said he never received his first absentee ballot and knew there was an issue with the second one after he mailed it and a tracking website showed the ballot had not been returned.
The U.S. Postal Service is blaming the formatting of the stamped address on the envelope.
The absentee election manager’s telephone number is listed as the third and final line of the address. The phone number 334-774-5003, which includes the digits 77450, a zip code for the Katy area.
“The placement of the phone number on the third caused our mail processing machines to misread the address and send it to Katy, TX,” USPS said in a statement.
But there are still questions as to how the envelopes got to Fierros. She said her address is not similar to what’s on the envelopes.
Fierros said she did not open the envelopes and plans to turn them into a city official in Katy on Monday.
After seeing online that his ballot still wasn’t returned, Pittman said he went down to the courthouse the day before the election and was able to cast a ballot, possibly a provisional one.
KPRC 2 was unable to reach the person listed on the return address of the second envelope.