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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:40 AM

Eliminating Saturday Postal Service Attacks Vote-By-Mail Democracy

Cutting mail delivery would undermine democracy by making it harder for the tens of millions of Americans who vote by mail to continue to do so.

Though the numbers vary from state to state, it is now generally accepted that 20 percent of American voters – including First Lady Michelle Obama – are casting ballots by mail. The numbers have increased at an exponential rate in recent years. Most mail voters do so via traditional absentee ballots, although roughly five percent live in states that formally conduct elections using a vote-by-mail system. And the practice is expanding; next week in California, 44,000 vote-by-mail ballots will be mailed to voters in advance of a March special election for the state Senate.

In the weeks before presidential and congressional elections, tens of millions of ballots will move through the postal system, with the final period before an election seeing many days when the volume of mailed ballots exceeds a million. Weekend days are especially busy because that’s when working people can find the time to apply for, fill out and send in absentee ballots. It is also, election officials say, when family members of the elderly and the disabled are most free to help them access and complete ballots.

Taking Saturdays out of the rotation deals a serious blow to existing absentee and vote-by-mail operations, and reduces the likelihood that this voter-friendly approach will be expanded. One of the top election experts in the nation, Cook County Clerk David Orr, who runs elections in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, has predicted that "mail will dramatically grow over a period of time." But that will only happen if the postal service is reliable. That's what is maddening about the proposed cut in Saturday delivery: with election officials looking to expand voting by mail as a response to long lines and other Election Day challenges, the reduction in service threatens the growth potential of the USPS at precisely the time when the postal service needs new volume and revenue.


http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/02/08-8

5 replies, 719 views

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Eliminating Saturday Postal Service Attacks Vote-By-Mail Democracy (Original post)
Redfairen Feb 2013 OP
graham4anything Feb 2013 #1
Niceguy1 Feb 2013 #2
Travis_0004 Feb 2013 #3
graham4anything Feb 2013 #4
Viva_La_Revolution Feb 2013 #5

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:10 AM

1. One needs to extend advance voting, absentee voting by 10 days

 

Eliminating Saturday mail does not help the post office problems.
It just will further them.

The voting problem above could need to have a ten day extension to offset any delay in receiving and sending back a ballot.

Closing Saturday's only would affect those that because of delay don't vote, so it goes without saying it should expand the time frame by ten days.
10 days is used in the example, because that would give two weekends timewise if the voter could only do it on a weekend day.

The PO should never have given FedEx the right to overnight(which is the most profitable)

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:25 AM

2. I dont think

It matters in the long run. They can still fill out the ballots and mail them. It isn't like you can't walk out and put it in your mailbox for Monday.

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:50 AM

3. You can even put it in your mailbox on sat.

It will still be waiting there for the postman to pick up on Monday.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:45 AM

4. and if per chance one gets a package that day, the PO person will take your envelope

 

and the PO itself is still open on Saturday.

The mail though is delayed from advancing in the system one day.
The question needing answer is-
normally, most PO's do move the mail from Sat.after the PO is closed, to Monday morning.
it does move.

the question is, will it now mean nothing internal gets done til Monday?

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:22 AM

5. I live in Oregon, and I don't think this will effect voting

You have weeks to fill out your ballot, as long as you don't wait till the last minute, nothing will change.

There's a whole slew of real reasons to not shut down Sat. delivery (jobs, congress's fault in the first place) this one won't catch any traction.

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