Mail delays could result in thousands of rejected Atlanta mail-in votes in Tuesday’s Georgia Senate runoffs, NBCLX reports.
The USPS said in a court filing last month that it was processing only 76% of ballots on time in the Atlanta metro region, which includes half of the state’s entire population.
“That means some ballots mailed by Georgia voters 3-5 days before this week’s run-off elections – and even some ballots mailed prior to New Year’s – may not make it to elections offices before the state’s Jan. 5 deadline for the votes to count,” the outlet reported.
It is unclear how many votes could be affected. The state reported receiving 38,000 mail ballots over the weekend, suggesting plenty more are still on the way.
Nearly 1 million people have already cast mail ballots in the runoffs with more than 1.3 million requested.
South Georgia rates much better:
While the Atlanta area has seen significant delays, the state’s Gulf Atlantic region, which includes the southern half of the state, has “significantly better on time performance than Atlanta.”
“But on-time performance for first-class mail had dropped significantly in both regions, including from 87% in Atlanta in mid-November to just 60% in mid-December,” according to NBCLX.
The USPS was sued by voting rights groups last month and agreed to fast-track Georgia election mail.
Thousands disenfranchised in November:
An NBCLX investigation found that about 25,000 to 50,000 mail ballots were rejected nationwide in November due to USPS delays, including more than 5,000 ballots that arrived too late in Georgia.
“Most key USPS performance indicators did not improve in November, then deteriorated further as the December holidays approached,” the outlet reported.
Georgia’s runoffs will determine which party controls the Senate. The presidential race was decided by just 11,779 votes.