American voters in Baltimore City, Maryland, received their mail-in ballots for the 2020 presidential election just this month after a complete failure from the United States Postal Service.
According to WMAR-TV, multiple voters said they received their ballots almost two years after they were due to arrive.
“I received my 2020 General Election ballot on Aug. 6, 2022,” Nick Frisone told the outlet.
He lives in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore, and many of his neighbors said they also received their ballots just recently, WMAR reported.
Frisone said he received a notice on Sept. 29, 2020, informing him his ballot that previously went missing, would be delivered later the same day.
“And then it just never came, so then I had to call the Board of Elections and then I had to go in person to get a replacement,” Frisone said.
In a statement to WMAR, the USPS admitted to losing over 20 ballots and failing to deliver them for almost two years.
“Regarding ballots seen in photographs from a customer’s email, the Postal Service discovered a tray of undelivered mail in a Baltimore facility on Friday, Aug. 5,” the statement said.
“The tray’s mail was from year 2020 and contained what appeared to be 26 blank ballots mailed from the Baltimore City Board of Election to addresses with a Baltimore ZIP Code. Those mailpieces were delivered Saturday, Aug. 6.”
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The statement included an attempt at an apology, but it rang hollow as it came two years too late.
“We deeply regret the late delivery of these mailpieces,” the statement said. “The Postal Service takes these issues very seriously and is working to help avoid issues like this by going over our processes and procedures with all employees ahead of the general elections.
“The U.S. Postal Service is fully committed to the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail. We are in close communication with the Baltimore City Election Board and look forward to a successful election in November.”
This failure by the USPS highlights the major problems that exist with mail-in voting. First and foremost, the 26 people who did not receive their mail-in ballots on time could easily have been disenfranchised by the mistake.
Frisone said he was able to go get another ballot in person, but what about the other 25 people? It is possible they were unable to do so for various reasons, or they may have been frustrated by the USPS’ failure and decided not to go out of their way to seek another ballot.
In addition, if the USPS can lose ballots this easily before they are delivered, who is to say the same problems would not occur after they are filled out? The USPS clearly cannot be trusted to get ballots to voters, so they also should not be trusted to receive ballots from voters and deliver them to the appropriate places.
Baltimore City Election Director Armstead Jones said the USPS did not even contact his office about the mistake. Instead, he learned about it from some of the voters who received their ballots extremely late.
“It would’ve been nice if they could’ve contacted us, so the voters wouldn’t have been confused,” Jones told WMAR.
He was also dumbfounded that an entire tray of ballots could be lost so easily.
“Individual pieces can be lost, [but] having a tray lost is a little different story,” Jones said. “It has to be sitting somewhere around somebody and somebody needs to look and see what it is.”
Even in this statement, Jones unwittingly presented an argument against mail-in voting. He implied individual pieces of mail are lost on a somewhat regular basis, and with something as important as a ballot, this is not a chance Americans should take.
As for Frisone, he said his trust in mail-in voting had been destroyed.
“I mean, if there’s another pandemic, I’ll get a hazmat suit and just go in person,” he said.
If voters have a legitimate reason to vote by mail instead of in person, it is reasonable for them to receive a mail-in ballot. But the idea that any American should be able to vote by mail at any time just because is ludicrous.
Our elections were meant to be held on one day, and they were meant to be held in person in the vast majority of cases. In order to protect the integrity of each and every vote, we must get back to this system.