Attorney General: Federal judge orders USPS to perform nightly sweeps for ballots in areas where delivery has slowed

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Photo courtesy USPS

A federal judge in Yakima has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to perform nightly sweeps for ballots in areas where data showed unacceptably low on-time delivery rates in the week leading up to election day.

U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian’s order came after Attorney General Bob Ferguson requested a hearing Friday to update the court after data supplied this week by the Postal Service showed “consistently poor Election Mail performance data in certain regions.”

Judge Bastian’s order requires the Postal Service to perform nightly sweeps for ballots in Wisconsin and the Detroit region in Michigan, and to take “extraordinary measures” to deliver ballots in time to be counted, after the data showed on-time delivery rates lagging in those areas.

“Every vote must be counted,” Ferguson said. “Our democracy depends on it.”

Generally, election mail delivery has improved since Ferguson won his injunction in September. But some areas continue to experience delays. For example, the data show that on-time delivery of ballots sent by voters in Michigan’s Detroit District has dipped as low as 57 percent over the past week. By comparison, national on-time delivery has been at 93 percent or higher.

“The reported data still show that the Postal Service is failing to timely deliver a significant number of trackable ballots, and that such ballots remain undelivered to voters or will not be delivered to elections officials in time to be counted,” Ferguson wrote in his request last night for the hearing.

On Sept. 17, Judge Bastian granted Ferguson’s motion for a nationwide injunction in the case, forcing the U.S. Postal Service to immediately halt its drastic operational changes while the case progressed. That injunction required the Postal Service to take “extraordinary measures” to accelerate the delivery of ballots.

Case background HERE 


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