World News – CA – Some regions still experience slow mail-in ballot delivery


In the final days of voting, the Postal Service struggles to ensure the timely delivery of ballots to parts of major battlefield states like Pennsylvania and Michigan

WASHINGTON – The postal service continued to struggle in the days leading up to the election to meet its standards for on-time delivery of postal ballots despite court orders to speed up operations

The percentage of ballots delivered to election officials nationwide in one to three days hovered between the low to mid-1990s last week But parts of shifting states like Pennsylvania and Michigan saw significantly lower rates in the final days of the campaign, leaving some voting rights groups concerned about sending the ballots out in time to be counted. / p>

According to an estimate from the United States Elections Project, around 296 million mail-in ballots are still pending, although it is not known how many of them were never returned or reflected the voters’ decision to vote in person

Judge Emmet G Sullivan, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, ordered Sunday evening that the Postal Service once again urge its staff on the need for « extraordinary measures » to ensure that all Possible ballots be delivered on time on polling day or Monday in Louisiana

Justice Sullivan asked the agency to erase and process all local ballots for delivery to election officials no later than the next morning until at least Saturday The agency must also use its Express Mail network to speed up certain polls

Pennsylvania, whose electoral votes could lead either candidate to victory, has experienced some of the biggest mail delays in delivering ballots In the district covering the central state, daily ballot punctuality rates over the past 10 days have ranged from 8328 percent to as low as 5,621 percent. Metro Philadelphia has seen better ballot rates. on-time delivery during the same period – between 7,801 and 967 percent – with the District of Western Pennsylvania

The Postal Service blamed the effects of the coronavirus and the lack of available employees for service issues in central Pennsylvania In a court filing on Sunday, the agency said it was transferring employees to its processing plant, maximizing overtime and hiring new employees to address concerns about mail-in ballots

Numbers show problems in Michigan too Over the past week, Detroit has seen punctuality rates range from less than 50% to 80%

In the Greater Michigan District, covering the rest of the state, the rate ranged from 55% to 96% However, in this district – as in others across the country, such as North Carolina – the Postal service said in court documents that the figures did not include ballots processed at local post offices and « delivered same day with nearly 100% success rate « 

The agency also argued that the daily delivery rates submitted to the courts do not accurately reflect performance, as scores vary by day and mail volume However, a spokesperson for the Postal Service said it could not provide weekly figures by region.

The Postal Service blamed the pandemic and labor shortages for some of the low rates As coronavirus cases increase across the country, the Detroit District reported that only 78% of its employees were available for work, while central Pennsylvania reported 84%, according to a court record on Friday

« That’s one of the things that really worries me this year, » said Tammy Patrick, former Arizona election administrator and senior adviser to the Democracy Fund, a research and advocacy group. « As you get closer and closer to Election Day, your options tend to run out »

Keith Combs, president of the Detroit branch of the American Postal Workers Union, said the post office is still recovering from operational cuts imposed this summer by Louis DeJoy, the post general manager, as he continued to face a shortage of employees

The backups when delivering the mail were better than they used to be, but customers were still experiencing delays, Mr. Combs said The Postal Service was careful to try to protect the ballots from slowdowns, but some could fall through the cracks, he added.

Michigan and Pennsylvania are far from the only countries reporting problems Lakeland, the postal service district that covers most of Wisconsin and northern Illinois, has consistently fallen below average nationwide, with Atlanta’s Gulf of Atlantic District, which includes parts of Georgia and Florida, also performed below the national average on most days this week

Other swing states haven’t seen such widespread delays Some Florida postal districts, including Suncoast and South Florida, have mostly had ballots to election officials at rates above 90% this week With the exception of Friday and Saturday, Arizona’s on-time mail delivery rate remained above 97%

Ballot, United States Postal Service

World News – CA – Some areas still experience slow delivery of postal ballots


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