by Juliette Rihl
One voter, Jane Downing, said she dropped off her ballot in a public mailbox in East Liberty last week. Several days later, it was delivered back to her. “I thought, ‘This isn’t right. There’s something wrong with this,’” she said.
According to Downing, she went to the East Liberty post office to inquire about the matter and was told that several other voters had brought up the same issue. “It was clear that mine wasn’t the only one,” she said.
PublicSource spoke to one post office supervisor and two postal carriers who confirmed the issue. According to them, at least several dozen pieces of election mail have been mislabeled and rerouted back to the sender. “It’s definitely happening all over Pittsburgh,” the supervisor said.
It’s unclear how widespread the problem is. A supervisor from the Oakland post office said none of her carriers has reported the problem, though she had heard of it happening at other branches. A supervisor from the Penn Hills branch said he had not heard of the problem occurring there or elsewhere.
The three postal workers who confirmed the issue— who asked to remain anonymous to avoid consequences at work — said they believe the issue stems from voters’ return addresses being both printed and handwritten on the back of the election envelopes. According to them, because of the placement and prominence of the return address on the back of the envelope, the mail sorter machine picks up the return address and misinterprets it to be the delivery address. “You cannot have a system where you have the person’s address with the barcode on it, because it’s a machine,” said the supervisor. “Once it reads the address, it comes right back to them.”
READ ENTIRE ARTICLE AT: