USPS warned 46 states that it can't guarantee that all mail-in-ballots would arrive on time to be counted

USPS warned 46 states that it can't guarantee that all mail-in-ballots would arrive on time to be counted

August 15, 2020
  • The US Postal Service sent notices to 46 states and Washington, DC, warning that they may not be able to deliver mail-in-ballots in time to be counted in the November elections, The Washington Post reported. 
  • That means millions of voters could have their vote not counted through no fault of their own. 
  • On Thursday, Pennsylvania's Department of State has asked the state Supreme Court to allow for mailed-in ballots to be counted if they're received up to three days after Election Day. 
  • At least 65,000 absentee or mail-in ballots had been rejected in US primary elections this year for arriving past the deadline, NPR reported. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The US Postal Service sent notices to 46 states and Washington, DC, warning that they may not be able to deliver mail-in-ballots in the November election in time to be counted, potentially disenfranchising voters, The Washington Post reported. 

Millions of voters who could vote by mail could follow all the rules to send in their ballots, but USPS may still be unable to deliver their ballot in time for it to be tallied. 

In six states and DC, the warning is only for a small number of voters, but in 40 of the states, including key states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida, the delays could impact a large number of mail-in-ballots, since these states have tight election deadlines. 

"The Postal Service is asking election officials and voters to realistically consider how the mail works," Martha Johnson, a spokeswoman for the USPS, said in a statement, according to The Post. 

The Post added that the issue is primarily in states where the deadline to request an absentee ballot is super close to the election, which means USPS can't guarantee it could be delivered on time. Voters who wait till closer to the deadline to apply for their ballots are most at risk of being disenfranchised. 

Business Insider previously reported that Pennsylvania's Department of State has asked the state Supreme Court to allow for mailed-in ballots to be counted if they're received up to three days after Election Day, in response to a letter from Thomas J. Marshall, the general counsel and executive vice president of the USPS, to Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar on July 29. 

Last month, NPR reported that at least 65,000 absentee or mail-in ballots had been rejected in US primary elections this year for arriving past the deadline. 

Trump has long attacked the USPS, and on Thursday he said he planned to oppose increased funding for the department specifically to hurt its ability to handle increased mail-in voting. The president has claimed mail-in voting benefits Democrats, an idea challenged by experts, and has also claimed with no evidence that it could lead to widespread fraud.

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