TheU.S. Postal Service on Wednesday reported a slide in on-time service including a steep drop in the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia, with the election and its deadlines for mailed ballots less than a week away.
The Postal Service in a court filing said it delivered 70% of First Class mail on Oct. 27 within the three-day window to be considered on time, down more than 6 percentage points from previous days. On-time service in the Philadelphia area was 43%, compared with an on-time rate there of roughly 80% in early October.
The worsening performance follows months of alarm and litigation over slowed mail after operational changes ordered this summer under Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Republican donor. A federal judge late Tuesdayordered DeJoy to immediately expand mail delivery with extra trips and later deliveries.
Democratic lawmakers took notice.
“These Postal Service delays are now jeopardizing the delivery of election mail, so I encourage all Americans who have not yet voted to vote in person or use designated election drop boxes,” said Representative Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee.
“Postmaster General DeJoy has either been unable or unwilling to fix what he broke,” Representative Gerry Connolly, chairman of the subcommittee on government operations.
J. Remy Green, an attorney representing voters in a New York case against the Postal Service, said Wednesday’s delivery figures show the agency “has continued to prioritize cost-cutting over their vital, civic role in elections.”
Postal service spokesman David Partenheimer said the agency makes ballot delivery its top priority.
“We are able to handle the volume,” Partenheimer said in an email.
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