Voters, businesses concerned over delayed United States Postal Service mail times

NOW: Voters, businesses concerned over delayed United States Postal Service mail times

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- Voters and business owners in our area are raising concerns over delayed mail times with the United States Postal Service.

Whitefish Bay voter Wes Manko dropped off his absentee ballot to USPS on Saturday, Aug. 1, and as of Monday night, the clerk’s office has not received his ballot. Manko is worried his absentee ballot won’t come in time for Election Day on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

“Any senior citizen is affected by this, any hardworking American that thinks their vote counts is affected by this, anyone with pre-existing conditions is affected by this,” said Manko.

The Milwaukee County Election Commission says if voters have already sent out their absentee ballot in the mail they will no longer be able to vote in person. Bottom line, the absentee ballot must be in by 8 p.m. on Tuesday to the voter’s respective clerk’s office.

“It used to be that it has to be postmarked and we can get it by Friday, but the legislators changed that,” said Julietta Henry, Milwaukee County Election Commission Director.

“The reason we have early voting is so that people don’t have to go through this, and this defeats the whole purpose,” said Manko.

Lawyer Fred Tabak recently received a letter from Kentucky that was dated the end of June. He’s also received a sizable amount of delayed mail within the last two weeks. Tabak asked his local post office what was going on.

“The gentleman at the Teutonia Avenue post office said, ‘we’ve got a week’s worth of mail that hasn’t even been sorted, it hasn’t even been looked at,’” said Tabak, president of Tabak Law in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Area Local American Postal Workers union says the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, reduced their hours, resulting in mail delays.

They union says in part:

“Without any consultation or input from postal workers, postal customers or the mailing community, he has launched a series of actions that will undermine the Postal Service.”

The Postmaster General denies mail is being slowed down, in a statement Friday, DeJoy said in part:

“We have delivery standards that have been in place for many years. These standards have not changed, and despite any assertions to the contrary, we are not slowing down Election Mail or any other mail.”

Still, Tabak calls slower mailing times a vicious cycle.

“It hurts the business, it hurts the clients, it hurts the vendors, it’s a got a broad effect in the business community,” Tabak adds.

As of Monday morning, Milwaukee County has received a little more than half of their absentee ballots back. If you haven’t gotten yours in, Henry says the best route is to drop it off right at your clerk’s office by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11.

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