WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service has sent letters to 46 states and the District of Columbia, warning it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted, The Washington Post reported Friday.
The Postal Service is bracing for an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But at the same time the need for timely delivery of the mail is peaking, service at the letter delivery agency has been curtailed amid a series of cost-cutting and efficiency measures implemented by its new leader.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a former supply-chain CEO and a major donor to President Donald Trump and other Republicans, has pushed cost-cutting measures to eliminate overtime pay and hold mail until the next day if postal distribution centres are running late.
The revelation that some voters could be disenfranchised comes amid a campaign by Trump to sow doubts about the election. Though Trump casts his own ballot by mail, he’s railed against efforts to allow more people to do so, which he argues without evidence will lead to increased voter fraud.
The letters obtained by the Post raise the possibility that tens of millions of Americans eligible for a mail-in ballot this fall will not be able to use it — even if they follow election rules.
A spokesman for the Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One such letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press, warned Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson that the agency might not be able to deliver ballots in time to be counted under the state’s deadlines for casting mail-in votes.
Brian Slodysko, The Associated Press