Steve Hutkins of Save the Post Office has been live blogging and providing updates to the 12 federal district court cases filed. In the November 6, 2020 Update Steve discusses the delivery updates being filed in court and which are being used by some news outlets to show the USPS has been delivering ballots late and not on Election Day. Steve cautions against the use of this data as actual delivery dates are different than processing dates.
November 6, 2020 Update
The Postal Service’s daily reports on service performance, election mail, and late/extra trips (submitted as part of the Joint Order from the courts in Richardson, Vote Forward, and NAACP) can be found here.
Steve Hutkins: One note about these daily reports on election mail. Some news reports are looking at these reports and misinterpreting the data and saying things like this:
“The data based on scans of ballot envelopes that were filed in Sullivan’s court Wednesday suggested that in South Florida, just 85.12% of the mail-in-ballots were delivered on Election Day and in central Pennsylvania, just 61.3% of the mail-ballots in the postal system were delivered on time both of which were based on the scan data in the court filing shown. In Philadelphia, slightly more than 66% of the mail-in ballots had been delivered on Election Day. In Atlanta 82.2% percent of the mail-in ballots were delivered on Election Day, the court filing shows.”
The daily numbers being reported do not indicate how much of the mail was delivered on time, i.e., within the service standard of two or three days. These numbers are processing scores, i.e., the percent of the ballots that went through the processing network on time. They do not encompass;
the “first mile” (the step between a voter dropping a ballot in the mail and its arrival at a processing center) or the “last mile” (from post office to letter carrier to destination).