Thursday, October 28, 2004

Going Postal

Internal e-mail reveals [Florida] Postal Service may have mishandled ballots

"As of today, we have supervisors and employees that state they have never been made aware of the procedures to be used," Parker wrote to his employees. "We continue to find absentee ballots mixed in with other classes of mail."

The e-mail stated that absentee ballots with improper postage sat idle in postal facilities, instead of being returned to their sender.

Although the ballots soon began trickling into elections officials, countless other voters continued to complain that they had not received the ballots they requested, or that they arrived weeks after requesting them.

Postal officials downplayed the e-mail on Thursday, saying Parker merely meant to stress proper procedure, said Earl C. Artis, Jr., a spokesman for the Postal Service.

"It was an effort to make certain that every manager was checking and double checking mail at their facility to ensure that we had processed and delivered every absentee ballot we had received," he said Thursday.

The same day the e-mail was sent out, Postal Service officials said they were not to blame for the backlog.

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