USPS official warns Minnesota secretary of state some mail-in votes may not be counted | KSTP.com

USPS official warns Minnesota secretary of state some mail-in votes may not be counted

In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. The November election is coming with a big price tag as America faces the coronavirus pandemic. The demand for mail-in ballots is surging, election workers are in need of training and polling booths might have to be outfitted with protective shields. Photo: AP/ Seth Wenig. In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. The November election is coming with a big price tag as America faces the coronavirus pandemic. The demand for mail-in ballots is surging, election workers are in need of training and polling booths might have to be outfitted with protective shields.

KSTP
Updated: August 14, 2020 02:48 PM
Created: August 14, 2020 02:28 PM

Back in July, an official with the U.S. Postal Service sent a letter warning Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon that because of the state's election laws and deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots, some of the ballots may not be counted.

The letter, sent by USPS General Counsel and Executive Vice President Thomas Marshall, says the state law requirements and deadlines "appear to be incompatible with the Postal Service's delivery standards."

In the letter, Marshall lays out a timeframe for voters seeking to request and submit ballots by mail, saying that ballot requests should be mailed so that it can be received by election officials at least 15 days before the election.

Under Minnesota law, residents can request absentee or mail-in ballots up to the day before an election.


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Marshall says to allow time for ballots to be returned residents should have their ballots in the mail a week prior to the election. The letter cites Tuesday, Oct. 27 as when voter should mail in their ballots for the general election in November. For the general election, ballots in Minnesota must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and must arrive no later than Nov. 10, one week after Election Day.

"To be clear, the Postal Service is not purporting to definitely interpret the requirement of your state's election laws, and also is not recommending that such laws be changed to accommodate the Postal Service's delivery standards," the letter reads. "By the same token, however, the Postal Service cannot adjust its delivery standards to accommodate the requirements of state election law. For this reason, the Postal Service asks that election officials keep the Postal Service's delivery standards and recommendations in mind when making decisions as to the appropriate means used to send a piece of Election Mail to voters, and when informing voters how to successfully participate in an election where they choose to use the mail."

While appearing on Meet the Press, Simon called the letter “saber-rattling.”

“Whoever it is who is trying to slow down postal service, they are not going to slow down democracy, period,” Simon said. “Americans will find a way, Minnesotans will find a way. We always do, and this stuff is just not going to work. We’ll make sure it won’t.”

Read the full letter from the USPS below; if you are on the KSTP mobile app, click HERE to read the letter.


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