Home>Campaigns>Collection times to blame for some ballot irregularities, post office says

The U.S. Postal Service is a critical partner as New Jersey steps up vote-by-mail elections. Photo by Rusty Clark.

Collection times to blame for some ballot irregularities, post office says

Spokesman: ‘We have no information to suggest any ballots were not properly handled’

By Nikita Biryukov, May 20 2020 3:17 pm

The United States Postal Service is pointing to collection times to explain why some mail-in ballots that were sent by May 12 reached election officials without a postmark.

“Collection times may vary, from morning to early evening, and are posted on each collection box. Mail deposited after the posted collection time will not be collected until the next scheduled time,” USPS spokesman George Flood told the New Jersey Globe. “The mail from the collection boxes in the Northern New Jersey District was collected according to the scheduled times on May 12, 2020.”

On Monday, the New Jersey Globe reported that 14% of the mail-in ballots Hunterdon County election officials received on the Wednesday and Thursday following the West Amwell election came in without a postmark.

State law requires officials to count 48-hour ballots as long as they are postmarked by election day. Ballots that arrive in that period without a postmark are not counted.

Flood said the post office was not aware of any improperly-handled ballots, adding that the agency was looking into the matter.

“At this time, we have no information to suggest any ballots were not properly handled and provided to local election officials, per our established process,” Flood said. “Nevertheless, postal management is researching the matter to further verify that all ballots have been and are tendered in accordance to service standards and were collected according to the scheduled collection times.”

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