A federal judge ordered the US Postal Service to take “extraordinary measures” to improve mail delivery times ahead of Election Day, Reuters reports.
District Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the USPS to create “special procedures” to ensure it “delivers every ballot possible by the cutoff time on Election Day.”
The order also requires the agency to reinforce to managers that “all ballots with a local destination must be cleared and processed on the same day or no later than the next morning for delivery to local offices, from now through at least November 7.”
The USPS will have to use its “Express Mail Network on Monday, Tuesday, and after Election Day to expedite ballots out of local service area to ensure timely delivery of ballots, unless there is a faster surface option,” the order said.
USPS complying with order:
The order came after USPS data showed that on-time mail processing of mail ballots was below 90% in key states.
Sullivan cited a backlog of undelivered ballots at one Miami area post office and demanded the USPS provide a daily status report on election mail.
The USPS said it is working to comply with the order.
“The train has left the station, and we are in hyperfocus on executing the plan,” executive vice president Kristin Seaver told BuzzFeed News. “It is a significant undertaking when you’re dealing with 30,000 units, over 400,000 employees, five collective bargaining unit agreements. What the team is focused on is executing the plan — and if we do that well, we’ll serve the American people well. Calling an audible at this point is pretty high risk for us.”
USPS on-time deliveries drop:
Data submitted to the court showed that on-time deliveries in certain swing states have dropped well below 90%.
In Colorado and Wyoming, only 43% of ballots were moved on time on Saturday.
Just 62% of ballots in Central Pennsylvania, 64% of ballots in Atlanta, and 64% of ballots in New England were moved on time Saturday.
States like Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania were all under the 90% mark as well.