With the help of SnailWorks, we are tracking about 54,000 pieces of mail a day originating in four cities around the country and sent nationwide. The data is not fully representative of the postal network, but it tracks national trends measured by the Postal Service, and it will allow us to continue monitoring mail service as the election approaches. Updates over the coming weeks will reveal whether delivery slows again, stays about the same or continues to improve.
Some election mail falls into the three-day category, for instance if election officials hire a company in another state to print and mail ballots. But election mail is more likely to be received and mailed back locally, where the Postal Service has a two-day-delivery standard. And the Postal Service has said it will prioritize all election mail, which is typically sent to voters using first-class mail or cheaper marketing-mail rates.
The recent national slowdown dates to early July, around the time that postal workers were ordered to change the longstanding practice of holding trucks at sorting facilities until all of that morning’s mail was on board. Beginning in July, trucks were ordered to depart on time, potentially leaving some mail behind.