Audit: 68,000 pieces of election mail not processed for five days ahead of June primary

Posted at 10:58 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 07:45:20-04

BALTIMORE — Nearly 70,000 pieces of campaign mail sat untouched at the main post office in downtown Baltimore before the June primary election.

An audit by the postal service inspector general found it resulted in workers not delivering the mail to voters in time.

It found that in Baltimore, the post office on Fayette Street sat on election mail for five days before it was ever noticed.

The audit reported it was political mail from candidates running in Baltimore's June primary The mail, which was sent on May 12, was not processed right away, resulting in 68,000 pieces of mail not being delivered on time ahead of the election.

“I’m very concerned because it has a lot to do with my livelihood, livelihoods.”

The report says once management found out about the issue the mail was immediately processed for delivery.

The audit also says election ballots were not apart of the delayed mail.

But, Percy Mack says he still believes investigators need to dig deeper into the issue.

“And that's because of the election coming up. That's the biggest worry I have right now,” Mack said.

The audit comes as the postal service faces scrutiny for cost cutting changes, many have blamed for widespread delays in mail service. The delays are raising concerns for people like Mack with the election months away.

“If I have to mail my ballot, I don’t want it be slowed down by anything.”

Gilda Daniels is an associate professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She’s also a voting rights attorney.

Daniels says what happened with the mail could impact people’s confidence in USPS, but she adds it should give voters more reason to make sure they get their ballots in early.

“They should request their ballots today and they should send them in now even the postal service and other election officials are saying you need to send it at least 14 days before the election I think you should send it in 30 days before the election."

USPS sent WMAR a statement saying “the postal service is committed to delivering election mail in a timely manner. We employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all election mail, including ballots.”