The U.S. Postal Service found 815 postal ballots at Texas processing plants on Wednesday.
The ballots were delivered to district elections offices after a U.S. district judge ordered an inspection of the state postal processing facilities, which was postmarked Tuesday.
Judge Emmet Sullivan instructed the postal service to file a report on the steps taken to deliver the postal ballots by the deadline for receipt of votes in the state.
Texas law states that postal ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. local time on election day if they are not postmarked, or by 5:00 p.m. the following day if they are postmarked by 7:00 p.m. on election day.
Sullivan ordered two searches of the mail processing facilities by 3:00 p.m. local time.
Texas was called to the presidency of Donald Trump earlier this week. The state of Lone Star has 38 votes in the electoral college, second only to California with 55 votes.
The Texas order came after Sullivan ordered the Postal Service Law Enforcement Agency to conduct a series of searches for undelivered ballots at a dozen postal operations in the United States, including Arizona, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Michigan.
Postal workers were instructed to complete the inspections by 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, but U.S. P.S. Attorneys told Sullivan in court that the agency was unable to complete the searches on time.
In a statement to Washington Newsday earlier this week, USPS spokesman David Partenheimer denied suggestions that the USPS was not working fast enough to process postal ballots.
“Beginning in January 2020, the US Postal Service began ‘all clear’ searches to ensure that the Political and Election Mail, which contains voter registration materials, applications for postal votes and the ballots themselves, were not left behind. These efforts have intensified as election day approaches.
“Since October 29, the Inspection Service has been conducting daily inspections of all 220 facilities that process ballot papers.
Partenheimer added that “the total volume of mail in the past 14 months has exceeded 4.5 billion items of political and election mail that have been tracked, an increase of 114 percent over the 2016 election cycle”.
Thirteen undelivered ballots were found in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and delivered to local election officials prior to counting. A further three ballots were discovered in North Carolina on Wednesday and are also to be counted.
A record number of Americans have used postal ballots as a result of COVID-19. Trump, however, has repeatedly called for personal voting, claiming without evidence that voting by mail would lead to vote fraud.