PHILADELPHIA (CBS/CNN) — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to have postal inspectors sweep underperforming facilities for election mail in several states, including central Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia areas. The order mandates that the sweep be conducted between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The order is to ensure that no ballots have been held up.
Seven battleground states conducting sweeps do not allow ballots to be counted after Election Day — Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Florida, New Hampshire, Arizona and Maine.
The mandate comes after the performance of the USPS moving ballots dropped five days in a row.
According to new court filings, scores have steadily declined since Wednesday when the USPS reported it moved 97% of ballots on time.
USPS has reiterated the delays are largely due to staffing shortages due to COVID-19.
To fix the issue, USPS has provided “multiple layers of operational oversight,” is coordinating closely with the USPS inspector general, and has been holding daily troubleshooting calls.
Some post officers have implemented “local turnaround.” That’s where ballots are being delivered directly to local boards of election instead of going through normal mail processing.
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