Snail mail: U.S. Postal Service reports mail-in ballot delays on Election Day


Photo credit: OSCE/Thomas Rymer, licensed for resuse

People stand in line to vote with voting sign displayed in Washington, D.C. Donald Trump issued remarks on the election and mail-in ballots on Nov. 5 stating that “there’s tremendous amount of litigation generally because of how unfair this [election] process was, and I predicted that. I’ve been talking about mail-in voting for a long time. It’s — it’s really destroyed our system.” According to The New York Times, there was no evidence of voter fraud occurrence within this election.

By Vaughan Anoa'i, Editor in Chief

The presidential election has come to a close. The election lasted five days, beginning on Tuesday Nov. 3 and ending Saturday Nov. 7, with the winners being Democrat and Former Vice President Joe Biden, alongside his running mate Senator Kamala Harris. During the mail-in vote counting process, however, many states had fluctuating ballot deadlines and the United States Postal Service (USPS) has reported that on Nov. 3, they had failed to deliver over 300,000 of the mail-in ballots.

“I would say I was definitely shocked but I wasn’t completely surprised, I mean we knew that there was going to be some sort of craziness around the ballots and especially the mail-in ballots with everything that Trump has been saying about them,” junior Presley Sacavitch said. 

In the weeks leading up to the election, Donald Trump said that he does not support or approve of mail-in voting and encouraged his followers to vote in-person at the polls. In contrast, Biden has said that he trusts the mail-in voting process, which later prompted his supporters to submit their votes via mail.

“A lot of people who have done mail-in are voting democrat, for Joe Biden so I feel like it might affect it in that sense because the election is so close,” sophomore Alyssa Ponratana said. “States really need these votes to win the electoral votes, especially because we have the Electoral College.”

The mail-in ballots that were typically used for absentee voting were also now being utilized for any eligible registered voter to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 and offer safer voting measures. The Trump administration, however, has “waged war”, according to The Guardian, against the postal service as well as this method of mail-in ballots.

“Here’s the thing, the United States Postal Service is now finding itself on the front line of the battle between the two sides,” world history teacher Nick Graham said. “I’m not sure how wise that was as a move tactically, to be honest, because military personnel rely on it to get their votes.”

In California, according to The New York Times, there were reports of fake ballot boxes being placed to mislead voters evidently leading to their ballots not being counted. Concerns in relation to voter suppression have been brought to light across the country as certain polling stations had disproportionate voting opportunities for members of the county.

“I don’t think it was the USPS who did it, I don’t think a corporation that big would be able to get away with something like that,” Sacavitch said. “We know that there has been fake ballot boxes in a lot of areas and they’ve been taking a lot of Democratic votes out of the pool.”

As the election begins to came to a close, Trump himself along with his administration made claims regarding voter fraud, leading to protests at polling stations including but not limited to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Philadelphia. Given the length and unique circumstances of this election, in the remaining states, the chances of recount are likely to ensure that there are no possible mishaps.

“[Trump’s] loss will only add fuel to the fire of the allegation that this was a fraudulent election result,” Graham said. “And you know this attack line was a long time in the making. That’s going to beleaguered, Joe Biden’s presidency half the country just will not accept the validity or the legitimacy of the result.”