Election precincts around the nation have seen a surge of mail-in ballots attributed to precautions voters took to remain safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has been tasked with the timely and safe delivery of millions of American voters’ ballots, just as in previous elections.
On Election Day this year, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington, D.C. ordered USPS to sweep facilities for any remaining mail-in ballots by 3 p.m.
The order comes after election precincts reported drop in on-time delivery in key battleground states including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Florida, and Michigan.
Ballots in these states, except for Pennsylvania and Texas require mail-in ballots to be received by poll closing times on Election Day.
USPS blamed delays on staff shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic.
CNN reported earlier today (November 3) that just 52% of mail-in ballots in Atlanta had been sorted, postmarked, and delivered to election precincts on time. In Ohio, 80% of ballots had been delivered on time and just 69% in North Carolina.
North Carolina has announced that in-person voting hours at four locations will be extended because of a glitch in their voting technology earlier.
Judge Sullivan has previously pushed the USPS to increase productivity with election materials, with this latest order an even stronger measure taken to ensure votes are counted.
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