A federal judge has ordered the United States Postal Service to conduct sweeps of facilities for any remaining mail ballots and to rush their delivery.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said Tuesday that the USPS must conduct the sweeps in multiple regions where the processing for mail-in ballots has been slow. Affected areas include Alabama, Atlanta, South Florida, Greater South Carolina, and elsewhere. Sullivan, per the Hill, has given the USPS until 3 p.m. to "ensure that no ballots have been held up" in these areas.
The order means USPS inspectors or designees must conduct the facility sweeps between 12:30 p.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday. And no later than 4:30 p.m. ET, a status update must be filed showing compliance with the order.
BREAKING: We haven't forgotten you, mail-in voters. New frm Judge Sullivan in our #USPS case: mail processing facilities in identified jurisds must conduct sweeps to "ensure that no ballots have been held up & that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery." https://t.co/jEOqR0ZBXQ
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) November 3, 2020
Last Friday, the USPS shared a public statement detailing the "extraordinary measures" being implemented to ensure the delivery of ballots. Those efforts included establishing "ballot postmark only" lines at retail counters through Election Day, utilizing extra deliveries and collections to meet state deadlines, arranging after-hours handoffs with Boards of Elections, and more.
"These extraordinary measures are in addition to processes and procedures USPS has deployed since September to deliver the nation’s ballots for the November election in a secure and timely manner," a rep said.
Also last week, Judge Sullivan signed an order requiring USPS managers to continue putting such measures in place as part of a larger effort to speed up the delivery process.
Sign up for the Complex Newsletter for breaking news, events, and unique stories.