People have got to go to prison over this. Interfering with the mail, and interfering with ballots are both felonies. And failing to comply with a court order is contempt of court. This was a systematic attempt to interfere with mail-in ballots. And it came from the top.
For the fifth day in a row, the US Postal Service moved fewer ballots on-time in critical battleground states than it did in the previous day, according to new court filings.
Five of the states with low processing scores — Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, New Hampshire and Maine — do not allow ballots to arrive after Election Day.
The continued drops in performance mean ballots are now at significant risk of not arriving to election offices in time to be counted. In more than half of the states, mail-in ballots will not count if they arrive after polls close.
A higher processing score means that a higher percentage of ballots are traveling through the mail system on time.
The Postal Service said that on a national level, it moved fewer ballots on time on Sunday and Monday than on Friday, with the service’s overall processing score dropping from 91% to 90%. Scores have been steadily declining since Wednesday, when USPS reported it moved 97% of ballots on time.
The Postal Service reported that it moved at least 740,864 ballots on Sunday and Monday.
Some critical battlegrounds states are still experiencing a drop in processing scores below 90%.
Just 52% of the Atlanta district’s ballots, and 69% of ballots in wide swaths of North Carolina moved on-time on Sunday and Monday, the USPS reported. The two districts had the lowest processing scores in the US.
Fewer than than 80% of ballots in Pennsylvania and Ohio were moved on time, with Central Pennsylvania and the Ohio Valley sinking into the low 70s. Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Maine all had processing scores well below the 90% mark.
These figures do not include ballots being returned through what USPS calls “local turnaround.” That’s the process USPS says some post offices have implemented, where ballots are being delivered directly to local boards of election — they are postmarked, but don’t go through normal mail processing.
The USPS is failing to comply with a court order, and the Judge is pissed. USPS ordered to have postal inspectors sweep some facilities by 3 p.m. ET for election mail:
Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court of the District of Columbia ordered the United States Postal Service to sweep all processing facilities by 3 p.m. ET in a number of states, including some critical battleground state.
The order mandates that USPS postal inspectors “or their designees” must start sweeping the processing facilities by 3:00 p.m. ET.
According to the order, this is,
“to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery.”
The sweeps must be conducted in the following USPS districts:
- Central Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia, Detroit
- Northern New England (New Hampshire and Maine)
- Greater South Carolina
- South Florida
- Lakeland (Wisconsin)
Seven battleground states are conducting sweeps and do not allow ballots to arrive after Election Day. They include: Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Florida, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Maine.
Tuesday’s order comes as part of ongoing litigation before Judge Sullivan in which the plaintiffs—groups of voters and advocacy groups–argued that delays in the mail system could threaten accurate election results, particularly in the 28 states that do not accept votes that arrive after Election Day. Prior to Judge Sullivan’s rulings in the case, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy had taken steps to cut hours from postal staff. Later, those steps were prohibited as a series of court orders took effect.
USPS personnel had been instructed “to perform late and extra trips to the maximum extent necessary to increase on-time mail deliveries, particularly for Election Mail,” and to send the court daily updates on the number of trips and on-time deliveries. Judge Sullivan also ordered a daily check-in via videoconference, the result of which was a new order on Election Day.
The order applies to postal facilities in “Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland, and Arizona.”
Postal inspectors were required to file a status update by 4:30 p.m. EST on Election Day, certifying compliance with the judge’s order and indicating that no ballots were left behind.
Reactions to Judge Sullivan’s “common sense order” have been swift and strong.
Federal judge Emmet Sullivan just ordered a sweep of all USPS to ensure no ballots are left behind.
The man is singlehandedly restoring faith in the judiciary.
Should a SCOTUS spot open up, I’d like to see Sullivan on the short list.https://t.co/T69lo8ArSl
— Adrienne Lawrence (@AdrienneLaw) November 3, 2020
Judge Sullivan is the judiciary’s rock star and has been for the past few years. https://t.co/XG7EJLQUSG
— AdaminChicago (@AdaminChicago) November 3, 2020
Federal judge Sullivan, hero of the Flynn case is now an election hero as he orders USPS to rush delivery of mail ballots as deadlines near https://t.co/N4p12pHUsV
— Jill Wine-Banks (@JillWineBanks) November 3, 2020
UPDATE: The Washington Post reports, USPS disregards court order to conduct ballot sweeps in 12 postal districts after more than 300,000 ballots cannot be traced (subscriber content):
The U.S. Postal Service turned down a federal judge’s order late Tuesday afternoon to sweep mail processing facilities serving 15 states, saying instead it would stick to its own inspection schedule. The judge’s order came after the agency disclosed that more than 300,000 ballots nationwide could not be traced.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the District of Columbia had given the mail agency until 3:30 p.m. to conduct the “all clear” checks to ensure there would be enough time to get any found ballots to election officials before polls closed. His order affected 12 postal districts spanning 15 states.
But in a filing sent to the court just before 5 p.m., Justice Department attorneys representing the Postal Service said the agency would not abide by the order to better accommodate inspector’s schedules.
This is contempt of court.