Postal Updates

USPS inspector general voices ballot concerns

Sep 4, 2020, 3 PM
The inspector general outlined five areas of concern regarding mail-in ballots, including ballots that did not receive a postmark.

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

The United States Postal Service’s internal watchdog has voiced concerns that the agency could face problems handling the expected crush of mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 elections.

In an Aug. 31 report, the agency’s Office of Inspector General said that although the USPS “has made progress in preparing” for the election, it has concerns about having a smooth flow of election mail.

The areas of worry are ballots mailed in envelopes without tracking bar codes, ballot envelopes with designs “that result in improper processing,” ballots mailed too close to the election to be delivered on time, ballots that fail to receive a postmark, and voter addresses that are out of date.

“Resolving these issues will require higher level partnerships and cooperation between the Postal Service and various state officials, including secretaries of state and state election boards,” the inspector general said in a report to postal management.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has pledged that the agency will make delivering election mail on time a top priority.

He announced Sept. 1 that he will participate in a meeting with the election committee of the National Association of Secretaries of State. Those officials are responsible for the conduct of elections in individual states.

“We stand ready to assist states and look forward to partnering with state election officials as they work to ensure that those who choose to use the mail to vote will have their ballots counted in anticipation of the expected spike in election mail amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” DeJoy said in a Sept. 1 news release.

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