Report: USPS nears settlement with 19 states on election mail

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SAN FRANCISCO – DECEMBER 15: Stacks of boxes holding cards and letters are seen at the U.S. Post Office sort center December 15, 2008 in San Francisco, California. On its busiest day of the year, the U.S. Postal Service is expecting to process and mail over one billion cards, letters and packages. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Postal Service is close to a settlement with 19 states and the District of Columbia on how the agency will handle mail-in ballots, according to a report from the Washington Post.

The settlement is expected to cover portions of a USPS cost-cutting initiative linked to recent mail delays.

According to the Post, the involved states are hopeful the agreement recognizes a state’s role in presiding over elections and ballot processing and minimizes President Trump’s argument mail-in voting isn’t secure and effective.

According to the Post, the settlement could be announced as early as next week.

The development would effectively end court cases in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania that challenged operational changes put in place by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that many feel could delay the processing of mail-in ballots. Those changes included stricter schedules and limits on extra trips by postal carriers.

The Postal Service says those directives didn’t come from leaders of the agency and instead may have been made at the local level. But that assertion is challenged in a report earlier this week from the Post.

According to the Post, negotiators are still working through the specifics on how USPS will handle election mail and overtime hours.

“Some of the language about election mail is also a little bit vague for us whether they’re really going to treat it like first class mail or not. It seems like there’s some wiggle room to us,” a source told the Post.

USPS removed close to 1,500 public mailboxes over the summer along with some 700 mail sorting machines.

Dejoy has argued these moves were part of normal process and fired back at theories the moves were made to support Trump and harm the ability of voters to use the mail to vote.

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