Tags: 2020 Elections | Coronavirus | Voting Rights | absentee ballot | postal service | mail-in | usps

Activists Say Surge in Absentee Ballots May Overwhelm Postal Service

utah mail ballots are put into an orange box during the midterm 2018 elections
(George Frey/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2020 10:32 AM

The coronavirus has propelled millions of registered voters to ask for mail-in ballots. The shift in voting style has some voting rights activists wondering whether the U.S. Postal Service can handle processing all the ballots that will hit processing centers on the days leading up to the general election, The Hill reports.

They say the USPS is already operating with limited resources and are concerned that they will be unable to get ballots where they need to be on time.

And it is a situation that has already happened twice this year. In Wisconsin, about 1,600 ballots were found the day after Election Day in April in a mail processing facility in Chicago. None of the ballots cast for the Supreme Court race were counted. In addition, hundreds of other voters who requested absentee ballots didn’t receive them in time to vote, according to the state Board of Elections.

Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., have asked the Postal Service's inspector general to investigate the incident.

A similar situation played out in Ohio when 317 ballots arrived at a county board of elections office past deadline. The Postal Service blamed a mail processing error. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has asked for an investigation.

"We saw in both Wisconsin and Ohio that USPS was late in delivering ballots to some voters and in returning them on time to election officials," Rick Hasen, an election law expert at University of California-Irvine and author of "Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy" told The Hill. "Those who wait until the last minute to request and send back their absentee ballots risk disenfranchisement, not through some kind of nefarious plot, but through incompetence and sheer volume."

A Postal Service spokesman told The Hill that the agency is coordinating with local elections officials to handle the influx of absentee ballots.

“As we anticipate that many voters may choose to use the mail to participate in the upcoming elections due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are conducting and will continue to proactively conduct outreach with state and local election officials and Secretaries of State so that they can make informed decisions and educate the public about what they can expect when using the mail to vote,” the spokesman, David Partenheimer, said in an email statement. “As part of these outreach efforts, we will discuss our delivery processes and will consult with election officials about how they can design their mailings in a manner that comport with postal regulations, improve mailpiece visibility, and ensure efficient and cost-effective processing and delivery.”

“The U.S. Mail serves as a secure, efficient and effective means for citizens and campaigns to participate in the electoral process, and the Postal Service is committed to delivering Election Mail in a timely manner,” he said.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
Politics
The coronavirus has propelled millions of registered voters to ask for mail-in ballots. The shift in voting style has some voting rights activists wondering whether the U.S. Postal Service can handle processing all the ballots that will hit processing centers on the days leading up to...
absentee ballot, postal service, mail-in, usps
471
2020-32-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2020 10:32 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved