PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With less than two months until the presidential election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is still considering whether to extend the deadline for mail-in-ballots. Right now, any ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day will not be counted, and some worry that changes in the postal service could have a big impact on the election.
“I had to, unfortunately, furlough my two employees,” Jeffrey Erlbaum said.
Erlbaum owns Eta Travel, based in Conshohocken, Montgomery County.
But with leisure travel still hurting, he had to lay off his only two other employees and mailed them their last paychecks on Aug. 4. One of those former employees is still waiting.
“I spoke to this employee yesterday. She still hasn’t received that paycheck yet,” Erlbaum said.
So Erlbaum decided he could not rely on the United States Postal Service.
“I eventually ended up going to her bank and personally depositing another check in her bank,” he said. “She’s OK, but it’s upsetting. What really bothered me is I wrote a really nice note to my employees expressing my gratitude to them for their years of service.”
He’s not alone. Linda Jara, of Roxborough, who recently had a heart transplant, waited 10 days to receive an order form in the mail for a blood draw despite the form coming from roughly eight miles away in Center City.
“People who are high risk, we’re depending more on the mail,” Jara said.
Now both worry the mail system may be experiencing problems because of politics, especially as more people are expected to vote by mail in the November election.
“It’s our right to vote and our votes might not be counted because it might not get eight miles away or five miles away, it’s kind of ridiculous,” Jara said.
“If they truly wanted to streamline the post office and cut costs, they needed to do it in a thoughtful systematic way,” Erlbaum said. “And this seems to have done very haphazardly, specifically to have caused disruptions like what happened.”
Both want to vote by mail, but with delays in the mail, they’re concerned if their ballots will make it in time.
Again, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to rule if mail-in ballots could get extended.