Senate Democrats have written a letter to the U.S. Postal Service concerning how it will take care of the large amounts of ballots it will receive from the millions who will vote by mail in November.
We have roughly five months until we vote on who we’d like to lead our country for the next four years. The time will come quicker than we realize, and Democrats in the U.S. Senate want to make sure we are fully prepared to handle the influx of ballots the nation’s mail service will receive due to people having to vote by mail because of the #coronavirus pandemic.
“While problems with vote-by-mail can result from a variety of factors, staffing shortages and delays at Postal Service processing facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to delays that harm the use of election mail,” wrote Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with other Democrats, Vice reports. “If mail ballots arrive late and are uncounted, some voters may be disenfranchised.”
The letter comes after a report from The Washington Post revealed an internal USPS memo mulling plans that could slow down delivery services in an attempt to battle higher costs, Vice reports. “If the plants run late, they will keep the mail for the next day,” one line in the memo reads. The Senate wants to ensure that nothing blocks voters from receiving their mail-in ballot forms on time and that ballots reach election authorities before deadlines. Florida suffered that very situation when more than 18,000 ballots were not counted because they arrived after the state’s deadline. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also did a study that found that hundreds of absentee ballots never reached voters during Wisconsin’s primary, which was due to delivery issues.
The coronavirus has prompted a new way of living and a new way for everyday systems to operate, including the USPS. Voting experts and the Brennan Center said it would be best not to have tight voting deadlines to deal with potential issues. “Mail-in ballot receipt deadlines should be extended to account for delays in U.S. Mail, ballot drop box retrieval, or other administrative processing delays caused by Covid-19,” the Brennan Center’s Wendy Weiser and Max Feldman wrote.