Adams County released the results of a third-party audit on Friday, about seven months after a truckload of Election 2018 ballots went missing.
In March, Clerk and Recorder Josh Zygielbaum hired a company called Eide Bailly to look into what happened last year when the U.S. Postal Service's General Mail Facility turned away the truck carrying 61,000 ballots.
K&H Integrated Print Solutions in Washington printed the ballots for Adams County and shipped them to the facility in Henderson, Colo., on a truck belonging to XPO Logistics. Four trucks were part of this delivery on Oct. 15, and USPS accepted all but one.
Adams County noticed about a week later that those ballots hadn't been processed and started asking questions.
The missing truck was eventually found at a secured XPO lot in Colorado, and the involved parties placed blame on each other for the confusion. David Rupert, a spokesperson for USPS Colorado, said the shipment didn't include necessary paperwork on that truck for the facility to accept the shipment. An executive with K&H and the clerk and recorder at the time, Stan Martin, told 9NEWS that the USPS employee should have reported a rejected truck to a facility supervisor.
The audit confirmed that a USPS employee did turn away the semi full of ballots. Rupert told the auditors that he could not allow that employee to be interviewed for the investigation, according to the final report. Eide Bailly also asked for a copy of the USPS internal review, the audit said, but Rupert told them he was not at liberty to provide them with the results.
Rupert told 9NEWS Friday afternoon that he will review the audit, and USPS always strives to improve its own process.
Despite the lone truck being rejected, investigators found it was given a status of "delivered" like the other three, and K&H took that information to be accurate. Eide Bailly asked to speak to the driver in charge of this truck, but the company wrote in the report that it had not yet been contacted by that person. The investigators believe a breakdown in communication happened between the XPO driver, the XPO dispatcher and K&H after the rejected delivery.
Staff with the shipping and printing companies told investigators that they have both added new procedures for handling any similar situations in the future.
The auditor found the staff in Adams County to have been responsive to the problem and said they acted quickly, but also reported that their office has updated its own procedures, as well.
As for the ballots, investigators agreed with what all parties said at the time - that they had not been tampered with at any point. The ballots were sent back to USPS from the shipping lot once they were located. They were mailed out with priority shipment to voters two weeks before Election Day.
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