An aberrant cardinal of Ohioans are accepted to vote by mail in this year’s presidential acclamation because of coronavirus fears, and a Dayton Daily News analysis activate alloyed after-effects by the U.S. Postal Account on whether envelopes mailed locally will access in time to be counted.
In August, Dayton Daily News reporters mailed 121 envelopes almost the aforementioned admeasurement and weight of an absentee acclamation from 42 accessible mailboxes in Montgomery, Greene, Warren and Miami counties.
All of them fabricated it back. But some were delayed able-bodied above postal account targets, and some accustomed afterwards postmarks.
State and bounded elections admiral and advocates say mail-in ballots will be a defended and accurate way for abounding to vote. But the bigger question, they say, will be postal commitment service.
“Challenges with the mail could affect contest or issues on the margins,” Alliance of Women Voters of Ohio Executive Director Jen Miller said.
The alliance is advocating reforms to accomplish voting by absentee acclamation easier. It has sued to acquiesce canton boards of acclamation to accommodate assorted bead boxes for ballots. Ohio Secretary of Accompaniment Frank LaRose said he doesn’t argue assorted bead boxes, but he issued an adjustment adage they aren’t accustomed beneath accepted accompaniment law.
The Dayton Daily News found:
U.S. Postal Account admiral beneath account requests and responded to our questions by pointing to Postmaster Accepted Loius DeJoy’s Aug. 24 Congressional testimony.
“We will do aggregate we can to handle and bear acclamation mail in a abode constant with the accurate processes and procedures that we accept relied on for years,” he said. “Nevertheless, I animate all Americans who accept to vote by mail to appeal their ballots aboriginal and to vote early, as a accepted faculty best practice.”
The account says cost-cutting measures which were appear to be occurring at Column Appointment locations civic this summer such as abbreviation overtime and accession mailboxes — which DeJoy maintains he did not absolute — were abeyant until afterwards the election.
Nationally the allotment of aboriginal chic mail accession on time was convalescent from a dip in July, according to USPS abstracts appear aftermost week.
The Dayton Daily News has filed a federal Freedom of Information Act appeal for abstracts on the cardinal of complaints and accommodation of mail commitment locally. No acknowledgment had been accustomed by deadline.
Quarterly letters on the federal agency’s website appearance that from April through June this year in the Ohio Valley — a arena addition from Cincinnati to Columbus — 83.7% of single-piece aboriginal chic mail was delivered aural bristles days. Its ambition is 92.5%.
The percent of mail delivered aural eight canicule in the Ohio Valley was 98.2%.
Postal Account admiral said they accept added than abundant accommodation to handle acclamation mail, which is projected to bulk to beneath than 2 percent of the absolute mail aggregate during the acclamation season.
LaRose said that DeJoy told him and added accompaniment acclamation admiral on an Aug. 27 appointment alarm that acclamation mail will be expedited.
The Secretary of State’s appointment additionally said that the USPS will abide procedures put in abode during the primary to ensure acclamation mail is prioritized . That includes instituting “all clear” processes to ensure all acclamation mail is candy anniversary day, rechecking accumulating bins for backward accession ballots and tracking acclamation mail deliveries to boards of elections.
“Secretary LaRose is auspicious Ohio voters to appeal an absentee ballot, complete them, and mail them aback ASAP this election,” secretary of accompaniment backer Maggie Sheehan said.
USPS unions react
Leaders of Dayton-area unions apery postal advisers said they were afraid by the newspaper’s findings.
John Oross, bounded admiral of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said he couldn’t explain mail beatific from the aforementioned box assuming up on altered canicule or not accepting postmarks. He speculated the account ability accept been afflicted by cost-cutting measures he said weren’t absolutely apoplectic until afterwards DeJoy’s Congressional testimony.
“I can adjure to this: If it gets placed into the letter carrier’s hand, if it makes it through the system, the sortation and all that, and gets to the letter carrier, I agreement it’s activity to get delivered to the appropriate abode that day,” he said.
“We’re the best trusted government bureau and we’ve been that way for decades,” he said. “We booty pride in what we do. Letter carriers are activity to bear (in) rain, snow, sleet, shine, hail, coronavirus — we’re activity to get it done.”
How do you vote in Ohio? Here’s aggregate you charge to know