USPS blows deadline to perform facility ‘sweeps’ for absentee ballots

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The US Postal Service blew a deadline set by a Washington, DC, federal judge Tuesday that required inspectors from the agency to look for ballots in “sweeps” of postal facilities in key swing states, according to court papers.

Attorneys for the agency said in a court filing they weren’t able to complete the sweeps, in part because inspectors do not have the ability to scour entire facilities without disrupting other Postal Service duties.

“There are only one or two Inspectors in any one facility, and thus they do not have the ability to personally scour the entire facility,” they wrote.

“Indeed, doing so would be impractical (given the size of that facility) and would take them away from their other pressing Election Mail related responsibilities …,” they added.

US District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered Postal Service inspectors to hunt for outstanding ballots “to ensure that no ballots have been held up and that any identified ballots are immediately sent out for delivery.”

Sullivan has been hearing suits filed against the Postal Service over mail-in voting delays.

The NAACP, a defendant in one of the suits, requested an immediate status conference after the USPS said it had blown the 3 p.m. deadline to conduct the sweeps.

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