Minnesota secretary of state tells voters to be proactive amid potential mail delays

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The United States Postal Service reported a loss of nearly $9 billion last year. And now, stimulus funding for the USPS is in question, raising concerns for people who plan to cast their ballots by mail.

In Minnesota’s primary election, at least two-thirds of voters cast their ballot by mail, according to Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Minneapolis tallies record voter turnout in primary; 65% of ballots were cast early

"It was sort of a dress rehearsal for the opening night, which is in November," Simon said. "A lot can go sideways between then and November, so we can’t pat ourselves on the back too much. But that said we were really successful. This is every Minnesotan’s right. We’ve had this law on the books for decades.”

But as newly appointed U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy cuts workers’ overtime hours, mail is getting delayed around the country.

Stephen Brooks, American Postal Workers’ Union National director for support services division, says they’ve been directed to let mail sit instead of stay and work overtime.

“It’s serious business: Documents, veterans and other people depend on medication to be delivered in the mail. Now it’s being delayed for days,” Brooks said. “People want the right to vote. People also want the right to know that the Postal Service is going to be able to handle their mail and get their vote in there in time. Well, obviously if the new postmaster general is going to come in and change the new efficiency standards, mail is going to get delayed, and it could have an effect on the election.”

Simon says voters who want to send in their ballots by mail shouldn’t wait until the last minute.

Voters can also track their ballots online like they would with any package.

Another option is to drop it off at designated spots, or at election offices when early voting begins.

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

Right now, President Donald Trump and Congress are at odds over stimulus funding for the post office.

"They need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots," Trump said in a news conference earlier this week. "Now, if we don’t make a deal that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it."

“But I can say this, whoever it may be that may try to slow down the Postal Service, they’re not going to slow down democracy,” Simon said.

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