WASHINGTON – A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered U.S. Postal Service inspectors to sweep more than two dozen mail processing facilities for lingering mail-in ballots and for those ballots to be sent out immediately.
The order, which includes centers in central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, south Florida, parts of Wisconsin and Texas, including Houston, comes after national delivery delays leading up to the election and concerns the agency wouldn’t be able to deliver ballots on time.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who has presided over several lawsuits aimed at USPS election mail delays, gave the Postal Service until 3 p.m. to “ensure that no ballots have been held up” in regions that have been slow to process mail ballots.
The Postal Service’s ability to handle the surge of mail-in ballots became a concern after its new leader, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major GOP donor, implemented a series of policy changes that delayed mail nationwide this summer. Delivery times have since rebounded but have consistently remained below the agency’s internal goals of having more than 95% of first-class mail delivered within five days, with service in some battleground areas severely lagging, according to postal data.