U.S. Post Office strikes absentee ballot deal ahead of Georgia’s Senate runoff race

U.S. Post Office strikes absentee ballot deal ahead of Georgia’s Senate runoff race

ATLANTA — We’re less than two weeks from the Georgia Senate runoff race and there’s a new development that could impact your vote.

The U.S. Postal Service announced it will treat Georgia Senate ballots as express mail. It’s a way to make sure your ballot arrives on time and it’s a victory for civil rights groups.

Thousands of Georgians who are expecting gifts or mailed packages are hoping for a Christmas miracle. The U.S. Postal Service and private carriers, like FedEx and UPS, are not only dealing with historic demand, but they’re also seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases among their employees.

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“Things I ordered never came on time, they’re not going to come on time, I ended up canceling or they said they were delivered, and they weren’t,” said Yolanda Williamson.

These delays are also on the minds of Georgia voters. Especially those who are planning to mail in their absentee ballots in ahead of the crucial Jan. 5 Senate runoff races.

On Thursday, civil rights groups and the USPS struck a deal to make sure Georgia runoff ballots arrive on time.

As part of the deal, the postal service agrees to treat ballots as express mail and take other steps to expedite delivery ahead of the runoffs.

GEORGIA VOTER GUIDE:

The agreement comes after a lawsuit was filed by the NAACP, accusing Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of weaponizing the postal service to disenfranchise Americans who vote by mail.

A postal service spokesman responded to that lawsuit in an email, writing in part: “None of the election mail lawsuits are justified by the facts or supported by the applicable law.”

As part of the agreement, the USPS will deliver ballots in Atlanta directly to board of elections offices and officials will conduct daily sweeps of postal facilities to find ballots and make sure they’re delivered immediately.

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