State Election Leaders Make Absentee Ballot Changes To Aid Postal Workers

Tuesday, August 18th 2020, 9:19 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

State election leaders are making changes to absentee ballots to help postal workers for the November election.

After receiving high criticism, the U.S postmaster is postponing the money-saving changes until after the election.

The Oklahoma State Election Board said they expect more absentee ballots to be sent in for the November presidential election than ever before. They're making a change to the ballots so postal workers can see them immediately.

Changes include making the instructions clearer and making the return ballot envelopes green instead of white.

Misha Mohr with the OSEB said they've been coordinating with both local and national post office managers.

"We were trying to come up with ways to make it easier for postal workers to identify that official election mail, when they're going through bins and trying to make sure everything has been delivered," Mohr said.

She said the absentee return envelopes will still have the same distinct election logo on the front but will now be a different color.

"This was one of the ways we thought would be much more efficient and be easier for postal workers to identify official election mail," Mohr said.

The U.S.P.S also announced it will hold off on its cost-cutting measures, like reducing staff and overtime, until after the election.

The postmaster general said they will ramp up their election mail services because of the huge demands of the 2020 election. They will also move around letter carriers and trucks starting in October, to meet the high demand.

"We've got great people working in the post office,” U.S. Senator James Lankford said. “We've got a great service that gets out there that they do as best as they possibly can on it. Not perfect every time as none of us, me included, are perfect every time on it, but this is not trying to torpedo the election."

Lankford said he believes there needs to be long-term reforms at the postal service but said those aren't COVID-19 related.