Police are investigating how three trays of mail, including absentee ballots, ended up in a ditch in Wisconsin, a swing state whose voters could prove crucial in the upcoming elections.

The Outagamie County Sheriff's Office said the mail was found around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning near the intersection of highways 96 and CB, near the Appleton International Airport. and was immediately returned to the U.S. Postal Service, Fox 11 reported.

"The United States Postal Inspection Service immediately began investigating and we reserve further comment on this matter until that is complete," USPS spokesman Bob Sheehan said in a statement.

The incident comes a mere five weeks before the presidential election, which has been steeped in partisan bickering over the system of mail-in and absentee ballots and wavering trust in the alternate system.

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, which marked a grim milestone this week of over 200,000 deaths in the U.S., voters are expected to cast ballots by mail in record numbers.

“We expect more than 3 million Wisconsin residents to vote in the November election, which means even more first-time absentee by mail voters,” Meagan Wolfe, the elections commission’s administrator, said in a statement earlier this month.

Wolfe said that before the pandemic, only about 6% of Wisconsin voters cast an absentee ballot by mail. During the state's presidential preference primaries in April, that number jumped to 60% when 1.1 million of the 1.55 million votes were absentee by mail. During the partisan primary in August, Wolfe said approximately 82% of the 867,000 votes cast were absentee, either by mail or in the clerk’s office. Read more at FOX News