USPS taking longer to return mail-in ballots in key swing states, including Florida

Many not confident ballot will be counted accurately if they vote by mail, polls shows
Posted at 4:31 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 18:24:08-05

With just one day before the election, many mail-in ballots in swing states are at risk of not being counted. The United States Postal Service is reporting moving fewer ballots on-time, including right here in Florida.

In a document filed in the U.S. District Court Sunday, the United States Postal Service says ballots are taking longer to reach election offices in key swing states.

Their processing score dropped below the 90% mark in Florida. The agency, under normal circumstances, should have an on-time score of 97% for ballots.

For three straight days, USPS has reported a drop in moving mail-in ballots on time. This means ballots that were mailed out, may not arrive to election offices in time to get counted.

"Florida does not recognize postmarks for stateside ballots. That ballot must be in the supervisor's office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. So tomorrow, at 7 p.m., is the cutoff. If it's not in my office by then, it won't be accepted," said Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.

You can check if your mail-in ballot has been counted by calling your supervisor of elections office, but the easiest way is to check online, through your county elections office website.

"Look for that area, for vote by mail. Right at the very top of that page there's a button that says track your ballot. Then you scroll down, fill in that information, and you'll find out if your ballot has been received and if it's has been counted or if there's a problem with it," Latimer explained.

If you still have a ballot, Tuesday is your absolute last chance to drop it off in person before 7 p.m.

"Between the drop off boxes from yesterday and the mail today, we hit right at 6,000 that have come in. We're kind of watching the postmarks on them to see what they look like. I can tell you that locally they're getting to us in a day," said Latimer.