The US Postal Service said it is unlikely there will be enough time to request, complete, and resubmit the Pennsylvania mail ballots to be counted for the November 3 presidential election.
Thomas J. Marshall, the agency’s chief adviser and executive vice president, warned in a July 29 letter to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar about the “risk of ballot required near the deadline under the law. The state will not be returned by mail in a timely manner to be charged by your law once we understand them. “
The letter was revealed Thursday in a filing, part of an ongoing lawsuit by a group of Pennsylvania voters who wanted state officials to extend the post-Election Day tally due to delays. United States Postal Service delay for mail ballots.
USPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.
State officials, including Boockvar, said in Thursday̵7;s filing that the plaintiffs were right in declaring that there would be a delay in the mail; State officials now say that the deadline for receiving ballots by mail should be extended by three days after November 3, as long as there is no evidence that ballots are mailed after Election Day.
The post office sent a similar letter and warning to Washington’s secretary of state, Kim Wyman, Spokane-Review spokesman, reported on Monday.
Concerns about mail delays and whether postal ballots count against the backdrop of a political battle over the agency’s funding so it can prepare to take action. additional volume.
Pennsylvania passed a law last year that allows all of its voters to vote by mail. Social alienation due to the pandemic has led officials from coast to coast to limit polling places and encourage public use of mailboxes.
However, President Donald Trump believes that the American tradition of mail-voting, which has its roots in the Civil War, leads to fraud. According to numerous investigations and studies, there is no evidence of voter fraud as common in the United States.
He vowed to block additional funding – $ 3.6 billion already proposed by congressional Democrats – for the Postal Service.
“They need that money now for the post office to function, so they can take all these millions of millions of ballots,” Trump told Fox Business Network on Thursday. “But if they don’t get those two items, it means you can’t have a global mailing vote, because they’re not equipped to have it.”
Trump’s presidential campaign is suing to block Nevada’s extensive mail-based voting plans.
In June, a major Trump sponsor, Louis DeJoy, was appointed general manager of the post office and over the weekend he announced a major change to the top leadership of the service.
Pennsylvania has stated that voters can request a ballot as late as October 27.
Marshall’s letter doubted the timeframes, saying that the Postal Service’s “delivery standards” were “incompatible” with those timelines.
He recommended that completed ballots be mailed no later than October 27 so they can fulfill the Election Day deadline and be counted.
The filing of state officials claiming a new development would prompt the judge in the case to approve an extension of the three-day deadline for the completed ballots to be returned so that they can be counted.
“Respondents did not expect that such an extension would create any significant delay in reporting Pennsylvania’s election results,” it said.
One of the Trump administration’s protests to postal voting is fear that it will delay the election and cause doubts about the outcome.
“Are all of these stories true about the fact that these elections will be fraudulent, will they be corrected, will they be fraudulent?” Trump said July 30th. “And people are looking at it, and a lot of people are saying, ‘You know, that could happen.”
Geoff Bennett contributed.