US Postal Service workers likely delivered more than 99.9% of the nation’s mail ballots in-time to be counted this year, despite record participation and unprecedented pandemic-related challenges. However, it also appears the USPS disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters – who mailed legally-cast ballots the week before the election – through substandard performance.
New postmaster general Louis DeJoy faced months of accusations from critics who claimed dozens of cost-cutting moves he instituted at the USPS this summer were designed to slow down the mail ahead of the election and help the man who appointed him, President Trump. There was a precipitous drop in first-class letter performance following DeJoy’s takeover, and despite a series of lawsuits that forced the USPS to rollback the reforms ahead of the election, the agency’s performance never fully recovered by Election Day. That meant millions of mail ballots took longer than normal to get to elections offices.
NBCLX analyzed election records – as well as postal records obtained through federal court filings – to find out how many ballots, cast the week before the election, were ultimately rejected.