U.S. Postal Service says it’s finished ballot sweeps required by judge

The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday disclosed it had found just 13 undelivered ballots in Pennsylvania after it completed required sweeps of mail processing facilities late Tuesday in about a dozen states.

The Postal Service earlier on Tuesday had said it could not meet a 3 p.m. EST deadline that day to complete the checks under a ruling by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan had ordered the sweep in response to lawsuits by groups including Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.

The Postal Service told Sullivan it was not logistically possible to meet his deadline.

Sullivan was slated to hold a 12 p.m. status conference on Wednesday on the lawsuits. Postal Service data showed that as of Sunday about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not receive scans confirming their delivery to election authorities.

In a court filing Wednesday, the Postal Service said “the lack of a destination or finalization scan does not mean that the ballots were not delivered.”

Sullivan’s order covered processing centers in central Pennsylvania, northern New England, greater South Carolina, south Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin and parts of Illinois, Arizona, Alabama and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit.

A senior postal inspection official said Wednesday officials in Pennsylvania had found 10 ballots in Lancaster and three delayed ballots in Johnstown during the sweeps and they were referred to management for delivery.

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