Amazon Prime Day package surge won’t affect election mail, USPS says

Millions of people are expected to flood e-commerce giant Amazon’s site in search of deals this week – but the U.S. Postal Service said an upsurge in package volume will not affect election-related mail delivery just three weeks ahead of Election Day.

Amazon’s two-day Prime event kicked off on Tuesday, and researchers forecast consumers will spend $9.91 billion on goods this year – up 43% from last year, thanks in part to a boost from coronavirus-related lockdown measures.

Typically Amazon has held the event in July, but this year it was delayed until Tuesday – just weeks before the 2020 election – at a time when the Postal Service is dealing with an unusually high volume of election mail.

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A spokesperson for the Postal Service, however, confirmed to Fox News that election mail delivery would not be affected by a pending flood of Amazon deliveries, adding that packages are processed on different equipment than mail.

“Delivering Election Mail is our number one priority, and we are 100 percent committed throughout the Postal Service to fulfilling our vital role in the nation’s electoral process by securely and timely delivering all ballots pursuant to our long-established processes and procedures,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.” The U.S. Postal Service has the capacity to flex its nationwide processing and delivery network to meet surges in volume of mail and packages.”

Those assurances come following concerns that the Postal Service might be stretched too thin to meet election-related needs this year, with millions of people planning to use mail-in or absentee ballots to cast their vote.

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The agency, for example, warned most states in August that their deadlines for mail-in ballots may be too tight this year. As a result, there are several ongoing court battles over whether to extend the mail-in ballot counting window past Nov. 3.

Meanwhile, overall on-time delivery at the Postal Service in September declined – with the on-time delivery rate for the last week of the month was 5 percentage points lower than pre-July levels.

According to the Postal Service, about 417 million pieces of election mail have been delivered, including 64 million mail-in ballots since Sept. 4.

This year’s expected volume is more than double the election-related mail delivered during the 2016 cycle.