U.S. Postal Service Releases Updated 2020 Post-Election Analysis
January 27, 2021
On January 19, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released an updated 2020 Post-Election Analysis that outlined the agency’s performance in delivering a record 136 million ballots and Election Mailpieces during the 2020 General Election and the two run-off elections for the United States Senate in Georgia.
The report revealed that on average, ballots were delivered from voters to election officials in 1.6 days during the general election and in 1.9 days for the Georgia run-off election. In that analysis, the USPS wished to highlight “the extraordinary lengths to deliver ballots during this historic general election season” when 136 million ballots were processed and delivered amid historic political and election mail volume.
“Throughout the 2020 election, the Postal Service faced unprecedented challenges, but the commitment of our 644,000 men and women to deliver the nation’s ballots never wavered even in the face of the pandemic,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “We take great pride in the Postal Service’s performance, which is thanks to our hard-working employees who went to extraordinary lengths to fulfill our public service mission, meet the public’s high expectations, and uphold the Postal Service’s promise to deliver the nation’s Election Mail securely and in a timely manner.”
In key 2020 general election performance statistics, the USPS reported delivering at least 135 million ballots, including blank ballots delivered from election officials to voters as well as completed ballots returning from voters to election officials. A footnote on the document suggested that the ballot total may greatly exceed 135 million, as that figure includes only those ballots that were identified as ballots using the correct electronic identifiers and does not include many of the ballots that the USPS diverted from its processing network or otherwise handled outside of normal processes in an effort to accelerate delivery.
Slightly more than ninety nine percent (99.89) of identified ballots mailed after September 4 were delivered within seven days, consistent with the Postal Service’s recommendation to voters. The overwhelming majority of ballots were delivered in far less time than that. Specifically, based on internal processing scores, 97.9 percent of ballots mailed from voters to election officials were delivered within three days, and 99.7 percent were delivered within five days.
While the average delivery time for First-Class Mail—the class of mail by which nearly all ballots from voters are mailed—was 2.5 days in October, ballots generally traveled even more quickly. On average, the USPS delivered ballots from election officials to voters in 2.1 days and ballots from voters to election officials in 1.6 days.
Finally, the total mail volume surpassed 4.6 billion mailpieces for both Political Mail and Election Mail tracked, representing a 114 percent increase above the 2016 election cycle.
The Post-Election Analysis further indicated that in the Georgia run-off election, the USPS delivered at least 1.1 million ballots, including blank ballots delivered from election officials to voters in addition to completed ballots returning from voters to election officials. As with the figure above for the general election, this total may greatly exceed 1.1 million, since that total includes only those ballots that were properly identified and does not include many of the ballots that were diverted from USPS processing networks in an effort to accelerate delivery.
Overall, 99.42 percent of identified ballots mailed from voters were delivered in seven days or fewer. However, the majority of ballots were delivered in far less time than that. Specifically, based on internal processing scores, 92.9 percent of ballots mailed from voters to election officials were delivered within three days, and 98.5 percent of ballots mailed from voters were delivered within five days.
On average, the Postal Service delivered Georgia run-off election ballots from election officials to voters in 3.4 days and ballots from voters to election officials in 1.9 days.
Anyone with questions about the USPS Post-Election Analysis is encouraged to reach out to Postal News Contact Martha Johnson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.