Judge orders Postal Service to sweep facilities twice a day for any ballots that can be delivered on time

Judge orders Postal Service to sweep facilities twice a day for any ballots that can be delivered on time
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A federal judge in D.C. on Thursday ordered the Postal Service to begin conducting twice daily sweeps of its facilities for any mail-in ballots in states where there is still time for them to be delivered and counted.

Judge Emmet Sullivan said in a brief order that "that all USPS processing facilities that serve a state with an extended ballot receipt deadline shall, until that deadline passes, perform a morning ballot sweep (no later than 10 a.m., local time) and a mid-to-late afternoon ballot sweep that is timed to ensure that any identified local ballots can be delivered that day." 

"Upon completing a sweep, each facility shall report to USPS Headquarters the total number of ballots identified and confirm that those ballots have been expedited for delivery to meet applicable extended state deadlines," added Sullivan, who was appointed to the D.C. federal district court by former President Clinton. 


The order comes in a set of lawsuits from groups challenging the Trump administration's handling of the Postal Service in the months leading up to the election.

The plaintiff groups, including the NAACP, won a major victory in the case when the judge last month reversed limitations on mail delivery imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoyLouis DeJoyGaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to country: 'Turning peril into possibility' Senate panel advances Biden's Postal Service nominees MORE over the summer. 

Sullivan has also ordered the Postal Service to take "extraordinary measures" to ensure that it efficiently delivers a surge in mail-in ballots stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

And on Election Day, Sullivan ordered the Postal Service to conduct similar sweeps in districts where facilities had been underperforming, including in several swing states.