The Postal Service is following several court orders and seeing improvements, though mail delays remain at higher-than-usual rates.
The U.S. Postal Service has reversed a September slide in on-time mail delivery, with the downtick in delays coinciding with court orders to roll back controversial policies initiated by its new top executive.
For the week ending Oct. 3, USPS delivered 86.2% of First-Class mail on time. That marks the second consecutive weekly increase and is up from 84.2% two weeks prior. Mail delays drew significant attention after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy instituted reforms that caused them, leading to congressional scrutiny, public outcry and a spate of lawsuits. Federal judges have sided against USPS in every case in which they have so far ruled, leading to injunctions on DeJoy’s policies and directives to employees to walk them back.
The recent service improvements with fewer mail delays directly followed USPS issuing an all-employee memorandum on Sept. 21 clarifying the agency would follow a court order, including approving all overtime as necessary to deliver election mail in a timely fashion and walking back DeJoy’s push to eliminate late and extra trips between postal facilities. The reversal was a major victory for states and advocacy groups concerned about the impact delays would have on an election that is already seeing a record number of mail-in ballots. For the week ending Oct. 2, USPS processed 98% of its trackable election mail on time, up from 94% two weeks prior.