With less than three months until the November presidential election and the coronavirus pandemic still raging, the U.S Postal Service has dropped a bombshell on Pennsylvania. Mail-in ballots for some residents may not be delivered on time to be counted because the state’s deadlines are too tight for its “delivery standards,” Thomas J. Marshall, general counsel and executive vice president for USPS, wrote in a July 29 letter to state election officials. Pennsylvania lets voters request a mail ballot up until Oct. 27, but Marshall said voters need to have already mailed their completed ballot by Oct. 27, raising the risk that voters who apply in the last week of the application period will be disenfranchised. “Certain deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous” Marshall wrote. “[The] mismatch creates 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.”
President Trump, who on Thursday appeared to admit he is blocking federal aid for the postal service to prevent mass mail-in voting, has continually railed against widespread mail-in voting during the pandemic, falsely claiming it is rife for fraud. The Trump campaign is suing Pennsylvania to stop statewide mail balloting. The letter emerged in a court filing from Pennsylvania’s Department of State, which is asking the court to allow mail ballots to be counted if they’re received up to three days after the Nov. 3 election, as long as they were posted before Nov. 3.