The U.S. Postal Service has warned Pennsylvania officials that there may not be enough time for mail-in ballots to arrive in time to be counted for the November presidential election.
As NBC News reported, the service said in a letter to Pennsylvania State Secretary Kathy Boockvar that there was “a risk that ballots requested near the deadline under Pennsylvania law will not be returned by mail in time to be counted under your laws as we understand them.”
The warning came from Thomas J. Marshall, the Postal Service’s general counsel and executive vice president, a warning that underscores an increasingly contentious debate over the role of the service in the upcoming election.
Though the letter was sent on July 29, it was revealed this week as part of a lawsuit from Pennsylvania voters calling on officials to extend the deadline for counting mailed votes beyond November 3. The NBC News report noted that a similar letter had been sent to the Washington secretary of state, warning that delays could make it impossible to count all the votes by the deadlines set forth by these states.
Local officials have made attempts to expand options for vote-by-mail amid fears that opening traditional polling places could spread the coronavirus. President Donald Trump has been fiercely opposed to the idea of expanding mail-in voting, claiming that it is ripe for fraud. Critics say he has not cited any evidence for this claim. In fact, evidence points to the practice being safe in places where it has long been used.
Trump came under sharp attack this week when he said in an interview with Fox Business Network that it may be impossible for the Postal Service to handle mail-in votes across the nation. Many took the statement to be a threat that he would impose restrictions that would make this situation come to fruition.
“Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” he said. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”
As The Inquisitr reported, he has come under fire from many top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The two released a joint statement this week accusing him of launching an assault on the Postal Service.
“The President, his cronies and Republicans in Congress continue to wage their all-out assault on the Postal Service and its role in ensuring the integrity of the 2020 election,” they said.