Tulsa Leaders Prepare To Handle Mail-In Voting As National Postal Delays Spark Concern

Monday, August 17th 2020, 9:44 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

Some leaders in Tulsa said they're working to make sure elections aren't impacted by the national postal delays.

They said the new policies to cut back on overtime pay, decrease staff, and remove some sorting machines are making their jobs harder to do.

The president of the postal workers union and election board secretary said despite the challenges, they're confident every ballot that's mailed before election day will get counted.

Post offices and election leaders are seeing lots more absentee ballots being mailed in this year. Tulsa Area American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President Jeff Bradley said he strongly disagrees those ballots will be delayed in Green Country.

"All the mail that's comes in that needs to be postmarked will be postmarked correctly and we will get it out to election officials by 7 p.m. on election day," Bradley said.

The APWU Local 1348 represents several hundred postal workers. Bradley said the plants use a machine to scan and separate mail, allowing them to make ballots a priority.

Tulsa County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman said they have a great working relationship with USPS.

"They've historically done amazing things for us, like open up after they're closed, making sure that any late minute ballots arriving late at their post office get set aside specifically for us," Freeman said.

Freeman said the post office also calls them to pick up ballots, and the election board does several pick-ups on election day.

Despite the confidence in taking care of ballots, Bradley says the national cutbacks, are causing big delays for other mail.

"I get medication out of Muskogee; it takes one day,” Bradley said. “It took five days, and I can prove to them, 'hey you mailed this on this day, it took this many days to get to me.’"