The United States Postal Service has flat out declined to meet a court-ordered 3 p.m. ET deadline to have its inspectors sweep facilities and deliver mail-in ballots, set by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in the District of Columbia earlier Tuesday. The agency disclosed Tuesday that 300,000 ballots had received scans when they entered post office processing plants but lacked a delivery scan that would show they had been delivered. USPS attorneys said, “Given the time constraints set by this Court’s order, and the fact that Postal Inspectors operate on a nationwide basis, Defendants were unable to accelerate the daily review process to run from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. without significantly disrupting preexisting activities on the day of the Election, something which Defendants did not understand the Court to invite or require.” They said daily inspections were already scheduled for 4 p.m.
Since Oct. 29, USPS says its inspection service has conducted daily reviews at all 220 USPS facilities that process ballots. Sullivan had ordered ballot sweeps across metro areas in several states, including expected battlegrounds Pennsylvania and Arizona, where mail-in ballots must be received by end of Election Day to be counted. After the missed deadline, the judge told the USPS to “be prepared to discuss the apparent lack of compliance with the court's order” at a hearing scheduled for noon on Wednesday.