In a development that will have no effect whatsoever on the presidential race, thousands of uncounted ballots from American citizens have been found a week after Election Day. The election commission in Puerto Rico says more than 100 briefcases holding uncounted votes have been found since Nov. 3, which could change the outcome of some tight races on the island, the Miami Herald reports. Francisco Rosado, the commission's president, said the briefcases were found in a secured vault. "We've identified, much to our regret, a disorganization in the handling of material in the vaults," he said Tuesday, per the AP. "Misplaced. Poorly organized. We have to admit that." Puerto Ricans can vote in presidential primaries but the island doesn't have any Electoral College votes.
Rosado blamed the situation on an understaffed administrative board that had to deal with a flood of early and absentee ballots. He estimated that up to 5,000 ballots were involved. The finding may force a recount in races include the close contest for mayor of San Juan. Puerto Ricans say the debacle, which follows a botched primary in August, has shaken their faith in the election system. "The whole tragedy here is not so much how it turns out in the end, but it’s that I don’t think anyone in Puerto Rico after a failed primary and this current process can really say they trust the system," William Ramirez, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Puerto Rico, tells the New York Times. (Read more Puerto Rico stories.)