U.S 2020 Postal Service warns mail-in vote count delays, in letters to states all over the country last month, the agency said “certain deadlines… are incongruous with the Postal Service’s delivery standards”.
Critics have accused the new USPS head a loyal supporter of Trump for a slowdown in deliveries.
A record number of people are expected to vote by mail amid COVID-19 pandemic.
But on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he was stopping additional funding for the USPS to assist with election matters, because he opposed mail-in voting.
He has allegedly said mail-in ballots will result to voting fraud and give a boost to his rival Democrat Joe Biden. Experts say the mail-in voting system which is used by the American military and by Trump himself is safe from interfering.
Former President Barack Obama firmly attacked what he explained as Trump’s “attempts to undermine the election”, writing on Twitter that the administration was “more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus”.
Meanwhile, Congress’s two top Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer urged President Donald Trump to end his “assault” on the postal service and “allow the 2020 election to proceed without his sabotage tactics”.
Their remarks come as a poll by Axios/ Survey Monkey discovered that three quarters of Republican voters plan to vote in person, while more than half of Democratic voters plan to use a mail vote.
Private delivery services Fedex and UPS have both declined calls to assist relax the pressure on the postal agency.
Meanwhile, the USPS has allegedly started removing mail sorting machines many of which would usually be used to process ballots during the election according to Vice.
The USPS, which has long been in financial crises and carries about $160bn (£122bn) in debt, sent letters to states across the U.S in July. It alerted that it could not tell that all votes cast by mail would arrive on time to be counted. At least 15 states have received a letter, according to NBC News.
In a letter to Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, the USPS said mail-in ballots asked one week before the 3 November election granted under the state’s election rules may not arrive at their destination on time because the state’s deadlines are too tight for its “delivery standards”.
USPS General Counsel Thomas Marshall said a “mismatch” between Pennsylvania’s laws and the mail system’s delivery capabilities “creates a risk that ballots requested near the deadline under state law will not be returned by mail in time to be counted under your laws as we understand them”.
The letter was released publicly on Thursday as Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar asked the state’s supreme court to grant ballots to be counted as long as they were received up to three days after the election. presently, votes are thrown away if they are received after election day.
Pennsylvania is a battleground state, which President Donald Trump won by less than 1% in the 2016 election. Other battleground states, including Florida and Michigan, also received letters, according to US media reports.
The Democratic governor in Pennsylvania’s neighbouring New Jersey reported on Friday that the state would pre-emptively mail ballots to every registered voter in the state. The process of mailing out ballots is called universal mail-in voting, and has been adopted in nine other US states.
Attacks say changes made by the new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy a major Republican donor like suppressing on overtime and stopping late delivery trips have resulted to a toll in mail waiting times.
But President Donald Trump told Fox News he was halting additional funding for the financially troubled agency, because he defy mail-in voting.
“Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he said. “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.”
In the middle of the funding disagreement, the 300,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers union on Friday endorsed Joe Biden, alerting that the “very survival” of the USPS was at stake.
President Donald Trump’s campaign has not yet commented.