I-TEAM putting the U.S. Postal Service to the test

How long will our mock ballots take to arrive? We’re about to find out

How long will our mock ballots take to arrive? We’re about to find out.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Voting by mail is just as simple as it sounds: fill out your ballot and then mail your envelope to your county’s Supervisor of Elections.

Still, questions remain about whether people’s ballots will arrive in time to be counted, how early ballots should be sent, and the chances of it getting lost in the shuffle or caught in a backlog.

With more Americans than ever expected to cast their votes by mail in the November general election, the News4Jax I-TEAM is performing an experiment that could expose flaws within the postal system.

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Over the next few weeks, we’ll send out 100 pieces of mail, similar in size and weight to a mail-in ballot, from locations across Jacksonville. The goal is to simulate voting by mail and address your questions.

Instead of sending these “ballots” to the Supervisor of Elections office, we’re mailing them to Channel 4 to find out how long it takes for them to arrive and if mail takes longer from certain parts of town.

Recent changes within the U.S. Postal Service have raised questions about if those changes will result in slower service for customers or any other problems that could have an impact on election results.

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The hope is to address concerns felt by Jacksonville residents like Robert Heck, who recently noticed a USPS drop box in town was brimming with so much mail that a letter wouldn’t fit in the opening.

“I think it’s a good experiment, simply for the fact that I think what you’re going to find out is what people have been saying is true,” Heck said when asked about the I-TEAM project.

Will mail be sorted improperly, lost or damaged? Or will all our mock ballots arrive on time at their intended destination and reveal there are no problems with the USPS locally? We’ll find out.

Share your thoughts

With so much attention focused on the U.S. Postal Service, we want to hear from you. What’s been your experience? Has your mail been delayed or gotten lost? Are you pleased with the service you received? If you work in the industry, is there something the public should know about? Whatever the case, share your experience with us by filling out the form below in as much or little detail as you’d prefer. You can also contact I-Team investigator Tarik Minor by emailing Tminor@wjxt.com

About the Authors:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.