The U.S. Postal Service is struggling to deliver mail on time following reforms by its new chief executive, according to new data from the agency, but in recent weeks has improved its performance for processing of mailed ballots.
USPS ramped up the measures it has taken to ensure election mail is delivered in a timely fashion in the final stretch before Election Day on Nov. 3, in part due to a series of court orders requiring the actions. The mailing agency has committed a slew of additional resources specifically aimed at ballots, including increased overtime, additional trips, expediting election mail for delivery and new processes each day to flag the specially marked mail.
For now, the efforts appear to be paying dividends: for the week Oct. 16, USPS processed 96% of in-bound ballots and 97% of outbound ballots on time. That is up from 87% and 94%, respectively, one month prior and marks a fairly consistent rise, according to data USPS made public in a recent court filing. Postal management cautioned it was only able to track election mail specifically marked as such and therefore it did not include all ballots working their way from election boards to voters and back. The data also measured the timeliness of processing only within the USPS network rather than delivery to the mail pieces’ final destinations.