The Postal Service failed to deliver 150,000 completed ballots to polling stations before Election Day, the Washington Post reported, including 12,000 in five of the states where the U.S. still eagerly awaits a final count.
That number is expected to grow in the coming days as more data is released.
However, Pennsylvania, where 3,439 ballots were delayed, is still accepting ballots until Friday, so long as they were postmarked by Election Day. Nevada, where 4,518 ballots were delayed, will accept them until next Tuesday. North Carolina– where 2,958 ballots were delayed– will accept ballots until next Thursday, granted they come with a Nov. 3 postmark.
But in Georgia and Arizona– 853 and 864 ballots delayed respectively– votes that did not arrive by Election Day were disqualified.
This comes after the Postal Service failed to conduct a court-ordered sweep of its some of its facilities for undelivered ballots Tuesday.
Those districts were: Central Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Detroit, Colorado/Wyoming, Atlanta, Houston, Alabama, Northern New England, Greater South Carolina, South Florida, Lakeland (covering parts of Illinois and Wisconsin) and Arizona.
The districts were determined based on those that had low scores when it comes to processing mailed ballots.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had ordered the USPS to conduct the sweep between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., but the postal service said it could not “accelerate the daily review process” without “ significantly delaying preexisting activities on the day of the election.”
“There are only one or two Inspectors in any one facility, and thus they do not have the ability to personally scour the entire facility. Indeed, doing so would be impractical (given the size of that facility) and would take them away from their other pressing Election Mail-related responsibilities, as detailed above,” the USPS continued.
The Postal Service said that inspectors will be in the identified facilities “throughout the evening,” though dozens of states will reject ballots not received tonight.
The Postal Service had warned voters not to mail ballots within one week of the election. Though the Trump campaign always encouraged its supporters to vote in person, even the Biden campaign switched its messaging in the waning days before the election, encouraging voters to use drop boxes or vote in person within 10 days in the election.