Election-related mail means tough times for the Postal Service

Record-breaking requests for mail-in ballots have caused some issues at the Post Office. That, combined with all of the candidate mail and navigating a pandemic, means a tough time for the postal service.

"You know with COVID, we have some more challenges sometimes in certain areas, but overall, we’re just making sure we get everything delivered. It is getting later in the day, but again, that’s how we get everything delivered," said Acting Phoenix Postmaster Tina Sweeney.

Sweeney says they see this every four years, but 2020 has been record-breaking. Arizona has more than 4.2 million active registered voters, and approximately half have already returned a ballot. The extra mail, the sorting, and limitations within the system have added up to 14 hour days, sometimes, for letter carriers like Dawnya Allred.

“Yea, you know, it’s the norm for us, we’re used to it, but it does pick up. This year more so than ever because people aren’t doing in-person things," said Allred.

The ballots being sent back through the mail will likely slow way down, and the recommended deadline to make sure a ballot gets counted when voting by mail has passed.  Elections officials suggest dropping off or voting in person from now until Election Day.

Allred says she’s just happy her team got to be part of the process.

"it’s actually kind of encouraging," said Allred. "I’m so pleased that so many people are taking an interest, and we saw so many more this year. I don’t care who you vote for, just vote. I want to see the ballots."