The US Postal Service warned Pennsylvania that mail ballots may not be delivered on time because the state’s deadlines may be too tight for its “delivery standards,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
USPS General Counsel Thomas Marshall told Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar warning that “certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service’s delivery standards.”
“This mismatch creates a risk that ballots requested near the deadline under state law will not be returned by mail in time to be counted under your laws as we understand them,” Marshall wrote.
The letter was made public as Trump vows to block emergency funding for the USPS in hopes that it will sabotage the push to expand mail voting.
Pennsylvania goes to court:
The letter was made public on Thursday in a filing to the state Supreme Court.
The secretary of state’s office asked the court to extend the deadlines for submitting ballots. Extending the deadlines would allow the state to count all ballots postmarked by the Friday after Election Day.
The letter represented a “significant change to the outlook for voting by mail in the general election,” the filing said. Before the letter, “the Postal Service had not indicated the likelihood of widespread, continuing, multiple-day mail-delivery delays presenting an overwhelming, statewide risk of disenfranchisement for significant numbers of voters utilizing mail-in ballots.”
The USPS also warned Washington about the issues in a similar letter.
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman told NPR that she is worried about the postal delays.
″I’m very concerned that delays in postal delivery are going to have a negative effect on absentee ballots and vote-by-mail elections,” she told NPR.
She said she was troubled by Trump’s attacks on mail voting.
“I think it really shatters people’s confidence in the process,” Wyman said. “We need to make sure we’re inspiring confidence in the public that this is a fair election. And the way you do that is balancing access and security.”