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Monday, 14 June 2021

U.S. judge orders USPS sweeps for delayed ballots

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U.S. judge orders USPS sweeps for delayed ballots
U.S. judge orders USPS sweeps for delayed ballots

A judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service to sweep mail processing facilities on Tuesday afternoon for delayed election ballots and immediately dispatch any for delivery in about a dozen states, including closely-fought battlegrounds Pennsylvania and Florida.

Gavino Garay reports.

A judge ordered the United States Postal Service to sweep mail processing facilities on Tuesday afternoon for undelivered election ballots and immediately dispatch any for delivery in about a dozen states, including closely-fought battlegrounds Pennsylvania and Florida.

USPS data showed about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not have scans confirming their delivery to election authorities.

While ballots may be delivered without scans, voting rights groups fear mail delays could cause at least some of those votes to be disqualified.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan issued the ruling in response to lawsuits brought by groups including Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community groups.

Affected by the order are central Pennsylvania, northern New England, greater South Carolina, south Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Alabama and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Lakeland, Florida.

Sullivan ordered postal officials to complete the inspections by 3 p.m.

Eastern and certify by 4:30 p.m.

That no ballots were left behind.

Lawyers for the USPS told Sullivan in a court filing that the agency was not able to complete the sweeps by 4:30 p.m.

But was quote "working as expeditiously as possible to comply with this court's orders while recognizing physical and operational limitations and the need to avoid disrupting key activities on Election Day." The NAACP filed an emergency request for a new court hearing to "address next steps," noting USPS had not complied with the court order.

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