A federal judge in Washington State has ordered the US Postal Service to take “extraordinary measures” to deliver mail-in ballots to Wisconsin and around Detroit in time to be counted for Election Day — even if that means using a priority mail service.
Chief U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian ruled that starting Sunday through Nov. 10, each facility in the Detroit area and a district covering most of Wisconsin must report daily to him about their sweeps for election mail.
If any ballots are uncovered, every effort must be made to get the ballot delivered by 8 p.m. local time on Election Day, including First Class, Priority Mail or any other “extraordinary measures,” he said.
Priority Mail Express is an overnight service that can run as little as $26.35 per envelope, according to the USPS site.
“We take our legal obligations very seriously and (are) complying with all court orders,” USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer said.
“The Postal Service continues to implement extraordinary measures across the country to advance and expedite the delivery of the nation’s ballots.”
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson noted that on-time delivery of ballots sent by voters was too slow in some districts in the battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin.
In one USPS’ Detroit district, the delivery of ballots has dipped as low as 57% over the past week, he said.
“Every vote must be counted,” Ferguson said. “Our democracy depends on it.”
Washington was among 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the Postal Service to challenge the “leave behind” policy, where trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time regardless of whether there is more mail to load on them.
With Post wires
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