Federal judge orders immediate sweep of postal facilities for mail-in ballots

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia Tuesday  ordered the US Postal Service (USPS) to conduct a sweep of postal facilities “to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery.”

Sullivan also ordered the Postal Service to file a status update by 4:30 PM ET to certify that sweeps were conducted and no ballots were left behind. Districts in the order include: Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland, and Arizona. Many of these districts have struggled to deliver ballots in a timely manner and are key battlegrounds in the general election.

This order is part of a series involving litigation over USPS handling of mail-in ballots. Judge Sullivan also issued an order Sunday, mandating reforms requiring the Postal Service to perform late and extra trips, keep a record of ballot deadlines, and create reports on ballot deliveries. Chief US District Judge Stanley Bastian of the Eastern District of Washington has also ordered USPS to “make every effort” to deliver ballots by election day

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