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Concerns Over USPS Delays For US Election Ballots

Fears have been raised that delays in US Postal Service mailing could “disenfranchise” voters

Published on August 13, 2020

USPS Mailbox

Former Deputy Postmaster General, Ron Stroman, is warning that recent changes at the US Postal Service (USPS) could "disenfranchise" US voters in the run up to the 2020 Presidential and Congressional US elections.

As reported by The Guardian, Mr Stroman was responding to recent cost saving measures designed to address financial problems at USPS which have taken place since the appointment of Louis DeJoy as the new Postmaster General in June. Explaining his worry, Stroman said "The concern is not only that you’re doing this in a pandemic, but a couple of months before an election with enormous consequences ... If you can’t right the ship, if you can’t correct these fast enough, the consequence is not just, OK, people don’t get their mail, it’s that you disenfranchise people."

Continuing, Mr Stroman said "Making these changes this close to an election is a high-risk proposition".

One of the concerns for overseas Americans is that further delays in the postal system in the US adds to existing international mail disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Federal Voting Assistance Program advised overseas Americans to submit their absentee ballot by August 1, and although that date has now passed, you can still register, and it's even more imperative that US Citizens living outside of the States arrange their Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) as soon as possible.

According to an NPR analysis, at least "65,000 absentee or mail-in ballots" for primary elections this year have been rejected due to arriving after deadlines for ballots. This further highlights the importance for overseas Americans who want to vote to act now to ensure their FPCA is received on time by their election officials in the USA.

As well as sending FPCAs via Royal Mail and other postal firms, Americans in the UK are able to post their FPCA into a mailbox next to the consular entrance of the US Embassy in London - mail can be posted 8am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, and should arrive into the US postal system in around 10-14 days according to the Embassy.

For more details on completing an FPCA, check out the FVAP website at www.fvap.gov

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