DETROIT – With hundreds of thousands of votes already cast, a recent report on the United States Postal Service found that Detroit has the slowest mail in the country.
The issue is raising concern about whether ballots already in the mail will be counted by Election Day.
This revelation into continued delivery issues could not have come at a worse time for at least one million absentee ballots that were requested, but still have to be received with just over a week until the election.
New numbers from the United States Postal Service are raising alarm about absentee votes already in the mail.
The data released by order of a federal judge showed Metro Detroit has the slowest average delivery nationwide stretching into October.
Right now the national average is 86 percent of first class mail arrives on time. Meanwhile, in Detroit that’s down to 70 percent.
The data was part of a new report from Michigan US Sen. Gary Peters who has been leading a Senate investigation into delays since July.
That investigation was launched after allegations were made about Trump appointing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy who stands accused of purposefully slowing down the mail as the president continued to cast doubt about mail-in voting. Peters calls it “unacceptably low.”
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says recent ballots have been making it to city clerk offices.
“We haven’t really seen any significant gaps in ballot receipt or delivery which is encouraging,” said Benson.
With the election just a week away, state officials are urging voters to drop off their absentee ballots even spoiling them to fill out new ones in person to make sure they have voted.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke to Local 4 News on Sunday ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.
“For those of you who haven’t voted yet, you can vote right now in person and I encourage you to do that. Don’t wait until there’s long lines on Election Day. We’re still in a pandemic, but you can go any day between now and election day and cast your vote in person,” said Whitmer.
The slowdown also complicates a new ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court which requires ballots to be in by 8 p.m. on election night. If voters have sent their ballot in but are worried about it being counted on time they can spoil that ballot, but have to do so by Monday.