The US Postal Service warned Pennsylvania in July that its “standard of delivery” would not meet state stringent deadlines for return claims and returns.According to a letter in the court filing on Thursday. As a result, USPS warned, there is a risk that ballots requested near the deadline in one of the nation’s most disputed states will not be returned in time for calculation.
Under applicable Pennsylvania law, voters may request a mailed ballot no later than seven days before the election. Counties cannot count votes received after Election Day.
In a July 29 letter to Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, the Post Office̵7;s general counsel and executive vice president Thomas Marshall warned that there was a “mismatch” between Pennsylvania law and “creates the risk that ballots requested near the state law deadline will not be returned in a timely manner to be counted under your law because we understand them.”
Even first-class mail takes two to five days, Marshall writes.
The letter, submitted by the Pennsylvania Department of State on Thursday in the highest court of the Commonwealth, recommended voters to submit a request for a vote at least 15 days before the time of the election “and preferably before the time. there”.
The Department of State’s records require the state Supreme Court to allow mail ballots to be counted if they are received by the counties within three days of the election, provided they are postmarked by the Date Vote. It’s a concession for the plaintiffs, a handful of voters and the Pennsylvania Coalition for retirees, who sued in April for the state to allow votes received one week after the election. Elections are counted if postmarked on 3 November.
The filing, withdrawing the state’s objection that the request was “speculative,” said the State Department had previously given “awareness of isolation issues in some counties.” But “Before the letter from Mr. Marshall, the Postal Service did not point out the possibility of delays of large-scale, continuous, multi-day mailing, leading to the risk of being deprived of the right to use across the country. the state for a significant number of voters use mail ballots, “the department said.
The State Department had previously fought against allowing the count of votes received after Election Day, although Governor Tom Wolf granted six of the state’s most populous counties a renewal with an executive order. . At the end of July, Wolf announced that the state would pay upfront fees for all mailed ballots, in response to the plaintiffs’ request in the same suit.
But the requirement to allow counties to count votes received after Election Day also highlights the likelihood that counties in the state will still count the days after Election Day, as it did in the June 2 primary election.
The US PAC’s progressive priorities supported the plaintiff’s case. The chairman of the committee, Guy Cecil, praised the State Department’s change in a statement. “This decision is an important step in addressing the growing barriers to voting that Americans are facing the deliberate persecution of voters,” he said.
The Pennsylvania State Department and the US Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.