The U.S. Postal Service has admitted that some mail-in ballots in one of November’s key battleground states, Pennsylvania, might not be delivered in time because the state’s deadlines are too tight for its “delivery standards.”
The bombshell revelation came in a letter written by Thomas Marshall, general counsel and executive vice president of the USPS, on July 29 to Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar.
In the letter, Marshall warns of “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.”
It added that “certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service’s delivery standards.”
Pennsylvania was decided by less than 1%, or 44,292 votes, in the 2016 election.
The revelation came hours after President Donald Trump admitted he was intentionally withholding money from the U.S. Postal Service to undermine its ability to handle mail-in voting in the 2020 election.
In Pennsylvania, voters can request a mail ballot up until Oct. 27, but Marshall said voters need to have already mailed their completed ballot by that deadline, suggesting that those who apply in the last week of the application period will be disenfranchised.
The letter was made public in a filing Thursday to the state Supreme Court, where Boockvar is asking the court to order that mail ballots be counted as long as they are received up to three days after the Nov. 3 election date — so long as there is no evidence the ballot was posted after Election Day.
State law currently requires that all mail ballots are received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Earlier this week, USPS sent a similar letter and warning to Washington’s secretary of state, Kim Wyman, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported Monday.
Trump and his campaign have consistently argued that mail-in ballots will result in widespread voter fraud — even though there’s little evidence that’s true.
As well as blocking funding for the Postal Service, Trump’s reelection campaign is suing to stop Nevada’s expansive mail-in voting plans and, along with the Republican Party, it is suing Pennsylvania to stop statewide mail balloting.
On Thursday, a Pennsylvania judge ordered Trump’s campaign to produce any evidence they have of voter fraud in the state by Friday, forcing the campaign to try and produce documents to back up the false claims Trump has been making for months.
Cover: A USPS worker wearing a mask puts envelopes in a mailbox on August 13, 2020 in Ventnor City, New Jersey. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)