The U.S. Postal Account is admonishing states it cannot agreement that all ballots casting by mail for the Nov. 3 acclamation will access in time to be counted, alike if ballots are mailed by accompaniment deadlines. That’s adopting the achievability that millions of voters could be disenfranchised.
It’s the latest anarchic and ambagious development involving the agency, which has begin itself in the average of a high-stakes acclamation year agitation over who gets to vote in America, and how. Those questions are decidedly almighty in the average of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led abounding Americans to accede voting by mail instead of branch to in-person polling places.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends mail ballots as a way to vote afterwards risking acknowledgment to the virus at the polls. But Admiral Donald Trump has baselessly excoriated mail ballots as fraudulent, afraid that an access could amount him the election. Democrats accept been added acceptable than Republicans to vote by mail in primary contests captivated so far this year.
Some questions and answers about what’s activity on with the column appointment and the accessible election:
What’s amiss with the column office?
The Column Appointment has absent money for years, admitting advocates agenda it’s a government account rather than a profit-maximizing business.
In June, Louis DeJoy, a Republican donor and acumen aggregation executive, took over as the new postmaster accepted and Trump tasked him with aggravating to accomplish the Postal Account added profitable. Doing so would additionally clasp businesses such as Amazon. Its arch executive, Jeff Bezos, has appear beneath criticism from Trump because of the advantage the admiral has accustomed from The Washington Post, which Bezos owns.
DeJoy cut overtime, backward commitment trips and added costs that ensure mail arrives at its destination on time. The aftereffect has been a civic arrest of mail.
The Postal Account is acquisitive for a $10 billion beverage from Congress to abide operating, but talks amid Democrats and Republicans over a ample communicable abatement amalgamation that could accept included that money accept burst down.
On Thursday, Trump bluntly accustomed that he’s craving the postal account of that money to accomplish it harder to action an accepted billow of mail-in ballots. Trump on Saturday attempted to re-calibrate his position. He said that he supports added allotment for the postal account but refuses to capitulate to added genitalia of the Democrats’ abatement amalgamation — including allotment for cash-strapped states.
Why does this amount in an acclamation year?
Mail-in ballots accept exploded in acceptance aback the communicable advance in mid-March, at the aiguille of primary season. Some states accept apparent the appeal for mail voting access fivefold or added during the primaries. Acclamation admiral are animating for the achievability that bisected of all voters — or alike added — will casting ballots by mail in November.
Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington accompaniment accept accepted mail voting, and California, Nevada and Vermont are starting accepted mail voting in November. But the blow accept little acquaintance with such a aggregate of ballots casting through the mail.
Timely mail is key to voting by mail. In states afterwards accepted mail-in voting, applications for mail ballots are about beatific out to voters by mail. They’re returned, again, by mail. Then the absolute ballots are beatific to voters by mail, and returned, again, by mail, usually by Acclamation Day.
Late aftermost month, Thomas J. Marshall, the column office’s accepted admonition and controlling carnality president, beatific states a letter admonishing that abounding of them accept deadlines too bound to accommodated in this new apple of slower mail.
Pennsylvania, for example, allows voters to appeal a mail election by Oct. 27. Marshall warned that voters there should put already completed ballots in the mail by that date to ensure they access by Nov. 3.
This has been a abeyant botheration aback the Obama administration, aback the column appointment airy standards for aback mail had to arrive. But it’s decidedly astute aback the aggregate of mail ballots is accepted to backfire in states such as Pennsylvania, which alone accustomed an amplification of mail voting backward aftermost year. It’s additionally astute aback the admiral has said aboveboard he wants to absolute votes by his rivals by befitting them from voting by mail.
What happens next?
It’s unclear. The aboriginal catechism is whether there will be a coronavirus abatement bill that could advice armamentarium the column office. Republicans and Democrats are far afar on the admeasurement and Congress has gone home for a few weeks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the alcove aback into affair this anniversary to abode the Postal Service.
A vote is accepted Saturday on legislation, the “Delivering for America Act,” that would prohibit any changes in mail commitment or casework for 2020. Congress is on summer alcove and had not been accepted to acknowledgment until September. The Senate charcoal away.
If there’s no resolution of the coronavirus aid, the amount is abiding to appear up during negotiations in September to abide to armamentarium the federal government. The government will shut bottomward if Trump doesn’
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