U.S. Postal Service Agrees to Prioritize Virginia Election Mail

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Oct. 28, the U.S. Postal Service agreed to address the delayed processing and delivery of election mail in Virginia ahead of its statewide elections next Tuesday, Nov. 2, after the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) sued over mail delays in the state. The lawsuit, which was filed last Friday, Oct. 22, raised concerns about thousands of unprocessed absentee ballots in the Postal Service’s custody and the compressed timeline for voters to receive and return absentee ballots and for election officials to provide a meaningful opportunity for voters to cure any defective ballots before the cure deadline.

After the DPVA filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order, today the parties agreed to certain terms to ensure the timely delivery of election mail. Specifically, the Postal Service will: 1) ensure that completed absentee ballots being returned to county elections officials are properly postmarked and scanned; 2) expedite the delivery of completed absentee ballots; and 3) conduct an “All Clear Certification Process” daily through next Friday, Nov. 5 where employees sweep all locations and certify that facilities are “clear of all Election Mail committed for delivery that day.” The Postal Service will provide daily reports to the DPVA about the “All Clear” process from the previous day, as well as estimates of travel times for completed absentee ballots. Finally, the parties will continue looking into any absentee ballots that remain undelivered to voters in Albemarle and Portsmouth City counties.

If you are a voter in Virginia and you have not already voted by mail or in person, you can head to iwillvote.com to check where to drop off your completed absentee ballot or where to vote in person. 

Read the consent order here.

Learn more about the case here.