Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said on Tuesday that he would pause any further changes to the way the postal system runs until after the November election to avoid any possible negative impact on mail-in voting.
“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” DeJoy said in a statement. One can imagine that the Democrats are upset to be losing their favorite issue of the last few days.
The move comes in response to bipartisan concern about how the changes might affect time frames for mail-in ballots to be returned in time to be counted as valid in the election.
From now until after November 3, post offices will not change their retail hours, mail processing equipment and collection boxes will not be removed, and no further mail processing facilities will be closed, The Hill reported.
Mail-in voting could be problemmatic
Around 77% of voters will be eligible to mail in their ballots in November, and the Post Office recently informed 46 states that their guidelines and deadlines may not be compatible with established delivery times.
It isn’t that delivery times have gotten slower. In some states, it is permissible to request an absentee ballot as little as four days before the election, which does not give enough time to receive the ballot and return it by election day.
First class mail usually takes three to five business days to arrive. “The Postal Service is asking election officials and voters to realistically consider how the mail works,” USPS spokeswoman Martha Johnson said in a statement, Business Insider reported.
NPR reported that 65,000 mail-in ballots were rejected in primary elections this year, and turnout is expected to be much higher for the general election. It’s possible that rejected mail-in ballots from legitimate voters could change the result of an election in numerous close races, which could cause chaos as election results are tabulated.
Mail-in voting ripe for fraud
It isn’t the Post Office’s fault that states have tight deadlines for requesting absentee or mail-in ballots, and those states could easily solve these problems by adjusting their deadlines to be more realistic, as the USPS spokeswoman said.
A bigger problem that is also not the Post Office’s fault is the potential for fraud when a state or a country decides to have universal mail-in voting and starts mailing ballots to the entire list of who they think are eligible voters.
The main problems with mail-in voting are the following: mailing ballots to people who are not actually eligible to vote, including duplicate registrations under non-existent names, people who have moved, and those who have died; and ballot harvesting, which is when a third party collects the ballots to deliver them to the state.
Ballot harvesting has already resulted in eight congressional seats suddenly flipping from Republican to Democrat in California. The problems with it are numerous, including the third party unduly influencing votes and possibly even altering ballots after they are submitted.
Freezing changes at the Post Office may make people feel better about mail-in voting, but it doesn’t really fix any of the problems presented by this faulty and dangerous practice.