Ballot papers that remain local need to be prepared and delivered to local post offices on the same day they arrive, or at the latest the morning of the following day.
This comes at a time when delivery performance in the postal service in the days leading up to the presidential election has become a major point of contention – especially in battlefield states where thousands of voters send ballot papers in the mail rather than visiting polling places in person due to the coronavirus pandemic – and pressure. Democratic state leaders and other groups gain access to voting for judicial oversight over the agency’s work.
As part of the request, the USPS should send a note by 9 p.m., local time, Sunday evening to factory directors and division managers saying that extraordinary measures “must be put in place to ensure that every possible ballot paper is delivered by the latest election day.”
In addition to daily USPS surveys of election mail, USPS processing plant managers must also certify that all local ballots are sent to the local or post office elections by 10 a.m., local time, Monday and Tuesday. These plant managers also have to certify that they use the courier network for polls and that they submit local ballot papers quickly.
In New Jersey and three major election states – Minnesota, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania – the USPS should issue “targeted written communications, and make all reasonable efforts to verbally inform factory directors and department managers” of the need to process ballot papers before the deadline they must arrive at election offices on Election Day .
The USPS should also try to “verbally deliver the mandate” to managers and supervisors in underperforming districts, including states that could be staples in presidential elections, such as North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
By 9 a.m. local time, Monday, the USPS is required to send a note to each local post office confirming that they must stamp all ballots they receive. Properly mailed ballot papers are important because some states allow mail-stamped ballot papers to arrive before Election Day after Election Day.
The targeted requirements come as the new court files show that, for the third day in a row, the U.S. Postal Service moved fewer ballots on time in battle-critical situations than the day before.
In a document filed in U.S. District Court on Sunday, the USPS said that nationally, they transferred fewer ballots on time on Saturday than on Friday and their degree of processing dropped from 93% to 91%. Results have been in steady decline since Wednesday, when USPS reported it moved 97% of ballot papers on time.
The most important battlefield countries are now seeing declines in scores – below 90% – and those already below that have not improved significantly and some have even fallen lower.
CNN’s Kathleen Bolantz, Marshall Cohen and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.