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Tue Oct 27, 2020, 04:36 PM

Amid USPS delays, election experts and campaigns weigh in: Don't mail your ballot

Source: Washington Post

Amid USPS delays, election experts and campaigns weigh in: Donít mail your ballot

A week before the election and as several voting-rights battles play out, Postal Service delays have forced the Trump and Biden campaigns to shake up their playbooks.

By Jacob Bogage
10/27/2020, 11:35:11 a.m.

For millions of voters who considered using the U.S. Postal Service to cast their ballot for the Nov. 3 election, itís time to find a backup plan, election administration and postal experts say.

With the presidential election a week away, mail service continues to lag ó especially in certain swing states that could decide control of the White House. Nationally, 85.6 percent of all first-class mail was delivered on time the week of Oct. 16; thatís the 14th consecutive week the on-time rate sat below 90 percent for mail that should reach its destination within three days.

Overlapping federal court orders in New York, Pennsylvania, Montana, Washington state and the District of Columbia blocked Postal Service officials from pursuing a cost-cutting agenda that delayed much of the nationís mail over the summer. But those orders ó and extraordinary steps from within the agency ó have not restored service levels, leaving voters to navigate the unprecedented diversity of options for casting their votes.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Bidenís campaign internally switched its language to voters this week, encouraging them to submit ballots in person or at a secure drop box, according to campaign officials, rather than through the mail.

Even the controversial postcard the Postal Service sent to every American household in September advised voters to ďmail your ballot at least 7 days before Election Day.Ē

ďIf you havenít requested a mail ballot yet, itís too late,Ē said David Becker, executive director at the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation & Research. ďI donít care about the legal deadline; itís just too late in terms of getting it processed, getting it mailed to you and you being able to fill it out and return it. Youíre just putting too much pressure on yourself. At this point, if you havenít requested a mail ballot yet, plan to vote in person and vote early, if possible."

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/10/27/usps-delays-election-day/

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