USPS to Sort Mail at Ohio Facilities Through the Election

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After discussions with Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), the United States Postal Service (USPS) has ordered Northwest Ohio mail to be sent to the Mail Processing Plant in Cleveland instead of the Metroplex facility in Pontiac, Michigan through the 2020 election. According to information provided to Latta’s office, USPS Headquarters has said that they will divert Ohio mail normally bound for the Metroplex Sorting Facility to the Cleveland facility from September 16, 2020 through November 14, 2020. Latta had formally requested this change in June and had reiterated his request during a recent phone call with USPS officials. Mail that had previously been sent to the Columbus sorting facility will still be sent there.

Congressman Latta has repeatedly raised concerns about election mail – including absentee request forms and absentee ballots – being sent through the Michigan facility. At least 1,000 absentee ballots had been lost or were severely delayed in the 2016 election, and Latta’s office had been contacted by a significant number of constituents about problems in the 2018 election and this year’s primary election. Nearly all the problems were traced back to issues at the Metroplex facility in Pontiac. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose also requested that all Ohio ballots be sorted in Ohio facilities earlier this year.

“The USPS is making the right decision to keep all sorting of Ohio mail in Ohio through the election,” said Latta. “With absentee voting expected to increase this year, my constituents deserve to know that their vote will be counted. While I’m hopeful that this will also improve the reliability and timeliness of ALL of my constituents mail for the next few months, I would like to see this change be made permanent. Getting the mail on time has been a problem in parts of my district for years, through no fault of the local post offices or letter carriers, who do a tremendous job. It’s been an operational problem, and this action by the USPS should go a long way to solve it.”

Recently, Latta led a letter with Senator Portman and other members of the Ohio delegation to formally ask that all election mail be kept in Ohio for sorting, along with other quality control measures.

However, this move by the USPS may be prohibited if legislation passed by the House last Saturday, the Delivering for America Act, is signed into law. Congressman Latta voted against that legislation and spoke against it on the floor – saying that language in the bill would limit the ability of the USPS to make operational changes like this one in the run-up to the election. The legislation has not been brought up for a vote in the Senate.

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