JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A lot of people who wanted to avoid waiting in lines to vote in the presidential election mailed their ballots.
But they did so not knowing if their ballot would arrive at the election office in time because even regular mail was arriving slow.
James Williams III is a mail carrier who says he and many of his fellow postal workers across the nation have been under a negative spotlight they didn’t deserve.
“When you look at it, you do your job. Every day I was getting ballots and making sure they were turned in. So that type of stuff doesn’t bother me because I do my job. But it’s disconcerting when you hear about your job in the news like that,” Williams said.
The controversy began when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many voters to request mail-in ballots to prevent contracting COVID-19 while waiting in line to vote in person.
Mail-in voting in some areas of the country was already taking a long time to get its destination after U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ordered the removal of mail processing machines and mailboxes in various areas of the country to cut back on operational costs.
DeJoy then said mail-in ballots might not make it to election offices in time because of the delays in mail processing. Many people saw this as a voter suppression tactic. So, folks who wanted to still vote by mail were told to send in their ballot as soon as they filled it out to prevent their ballot from not being counted. And that’s what many people did which is why the presidential race was not called on the night of the election.
“Some states counted their mail-in ballots first. Some counted their walk-up ballots first. You’re going to get inconsistency when you do it that way,” Williams said.
And because of that, the country continues to wait to find out who will become the 46th President of the United States.