HOUSTON – As the counting continues in several states a judge has issued another order to the United States Postal Service to locate any other mail-in ballots that have yet to be delivered. This is the second ordered sweep this week.
“Whether it’s a student council election in the fifth grade or the presidential election in 2020, every vote counts but every vote has to be counted,” said KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice.
The order is focusing on states that have extended vote delivery deadlines including North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The searches must continue through the end of business Friday.
But Wice says the judge can take it even a step further if he feels the need.
“He can go to DEFCON 1,” Wice said. “That means he can find the postal service in contempt. It means he can lock people up. It means he can fine them. It means he can call them out.”
The postal service says in order to expedite the process ballots were scanned when they arrived but not when they were sent out of facilities making it appear as if they hadn’t been delivered. However, Wednesday’s order located more than 800 undelivered ballots in Texas alone.
Wice says with this election there is a lot on the line.
“I think the reputation and the integrity of the electoral process are at stake,” said Wice. “But beyond that, I think the integrity and the reputation of the United States Postal Service is at stake.”
Wice says he can’t guarantee the judge’s orders will make a difference but he believes they can make a difference, which is why the orders were issued.