Nearly six weeks since New York’s much-criticized June 23rd primary, postal workers pointed to a string of problems at a Thursday court hearing — offering a possible preview of what voters can expect from November’s presidential contest.
The hearing stems from a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month by two candidates and more than a dozen voters who want to block thousands of absentee ballots from being discounted over postmark issues.
Michael Calabrese, a manager at the postal service’s New York Morgan Processing and Distribution Center, testified Thursday that the postal services’ commitment is for 100% of mail that’s collected to get a postmark the same day it’s collected, but conceded that’s not always the case.
“If something happens, a circumstance beyond someone’s control where it fell in the cracks or something like that, then it could get a postmark at a later date,” he said. “It’s not ever 100 percent.”
To be counted, absentee ballots would have to have a June 23 postmark. The lawsuit alleges that hundreds of thousands of ballots could be discounted because they didn’t get one.
Calabrese testified that under long-standing postal service policy, all ballot mail requires a postmark. Asked about news reports about the U.S.P.S. potentially slowing down mail service, Calabrese said he was not aware of such a mandate.