Will Palm Beach County be able to handle flood of mail-in ballots?

'Give us as much time as possible,' says postal worker union chief
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link
Posted at 3:56 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 18:35:50-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump has been critical of mail-in ballots for the election, and recent moves by the postmaster general has raised concerns about delivering the votes on time.

WPTV looked into how prepared the United States Postal Service and the Palm Beach County elections office will be as mail-in voting begins later this month.

"Being put under this type of scrutiny, it's ridiculous, especially when we have an election coming up," said Kevin Young, the president of the postal workers union in West Palm Beach.

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Young said he thinks they can handle the flood of mail-in ballots expected to move through this facility, which handles mail from Delray Beach to Fort Pierce.

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"It's best to give us as much time as possible, but again, we go through the mail continuously. If we find (a mail-in ballot), it's identifiable, we will pull it out and separate it and make sure it gets to the supervisor of elections," Young said.

He said during the recent restructuring of the post services, at least four mail sorting machines have been taken apart in the building, but there are still about 20 operating, which can handle about 30,000 pieces of mail an hour.

"They’re very vital. We have generally two employees running the machines, and we take a tray of mail, put it on the machine and that machine will run about 22,000 to 30,000 pieces an hour," Young said.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said the number of requests for mail-in ballots is approaching 370,000 and is expected to top 500,000 for the presidential election.

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"We've been in contact with the post office because we read about the sorters that they are losing, and they assured us it will not affect election mail," Sartory Link said.

She said mail-in ballots are scheduled to be sent out Sept. 24, and she is advising voters not to waste time sending them back before the election night deadline.

Some voters said they will take matters into their own hands.

"I've registered to do mail, but I'm going to take my ballot and drop it off and not have to worry about it," voter Debbie Wemyss said Thursday.