In ‘Tense’ Call, DeJoy Tells Election Officials That USPS Can Handle Mail Ballots
September 17, 20207:19 PM ET
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy arrives to testify during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing in August.Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
In a call that included a number of “tense moments,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy sought to reassure a group of the nation’s top election officials Thursday that election mail will be his agency’s highest priority this fall, according to one state election official on the call.
Specifically, DeJoy told the officials that his agency was undertaking a public information campaign to explain to voters that the U.S. Postal Service is equipped to handle the expected increase in mail volume that comes during election season, according to New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who leads the National Association of Secretaries of State, which organized the call.
DeJoy also talked more in depth about training for Postal Service employees about how to handle election mail, including postmarking, which in some jurisdictions needs to happen for a mail ballot to count.
“We’re at the ‘trust but verify’ point,” said Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat. “We will be taking [the Postal Service] at their word that they are going to put these much-needed processes and guidelines into place. And only through ongoing communication and accountability will we be able to be assured.”Article continues after sponsor messagehttps://e3d5ff5cb13e42364d76d40b22188391.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
“Better in the future”
The implementation of the aforementioned information campaign got off to a rocky start, with one state election official even calling postcards the USPS sent out last week “misinformation.”
The cards urge voters to “plan ahead” if they expect to vote by mail this fall, which is a message consistent with what officials nationwide have tried to relay.
But the cards also tell voters to “Request your mail-in ballot … at least 15 days before Election Day” — a message that has alarmed officials in states where ballots are automatically sent out to registered voters, like Colorado, Utah and Washington, and where voters might be then confused about whether they need to make a request.
“I just found out the @USPS is sending this postcard to every household and PO Box in the nation,” tweeted Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, last Friday, with an image of the card. “For states like Colorado where we