USPS, SOS contradict each other on ballot mailing deadline

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Mixed messages are being put out to the public on whether the U.S. Postal Service will deliver your ballot on time.

On Wednesday, the postmaster for Grand Rapids said you should trust the post office to deliver, but the state’s top election official says it’s too late and to instead drop your ballot off at a drop box or local clerk’s office with Election Day less than a week away.

“I mailed my ballot today, when I came in today,” said Grand Rapids Postmaster William Rowe. “I have confidence in my ballot going out today,” he added.

Rowe is sharing a very different message from the one posted by Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Tuesday.

The state’s top election official shared a post on Facebook saying, “It is too late to rely on the U.S. Postal Service for absentee ballots.” She added in an attached press release, “We are too close to Election Day and the right to vote is too important to rely on the Postal Service to deliver absentee ballots on time.”

When News 8 asked the postmaster about that post he responded, “That’s not a postal answer.”

News 8 asked Rowe if ballots mailed out today (Wednesday) would be counted.

“It will be processed, yes,” Rowe responded, adding that the ballot will arrive in time for the election.

The deadline for an absentee ballot to be submitted is 8 p.m. on Nov. 3.

“We’ve got 100% confidence that it’s going to happen because of the United States Postal Service employees,” Rowe said.

Voters can check to make sure their ballot was received by visiting the state’s website. Once you type in your information, a box labeled “Absentee ballot” will tell you the date your ballot was received.

The post office says from now until the election, mail processing equipment and hours will remain as is and facilities will not be closed or consolidated.

News 8 also asked if non-election mail is being delivered on time. The post office and postmaster did not respond.