Local postal service employees prepared as more people vote by mail ahead of election

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two weeks remain until voters will go to the polls, some of whom are already voting by mail.

A mood of skepticism looms concerning the U.S. Postal Service, amid concerns about whether or not that agency can handle a flood of extra mail.

The workload seems huge, but Kansas City-based employees from the U.S. Postal Service said everything is under control. During the next two weeks, the U.S. mail system will be flooded with vote-by-mail ballots, which is offered in 38 states including Kansas and Missouri.

Mark Inglett, a metro spokesperson for USPS, said ballots are already being collected and handled as First Class Mail. Inglett said election season mail pales in comparison to the load handled every year during the holiday crush.

“The volume of mail we’re expecting is less than 2% of what we get from mid-September to the holiday season without the ballots. We’re more than ready. We’ve brought on extra transportation and extra staffing,” Inglett said.

Ballots are treated as First Class Mail, which means they’re sorted and processed every night. Millions of U.S. voters are taking advantage of mail-in ballots, but critics, including President Donald Trump, question whether the postal service can be efficient and secure. Kansas City reps interviewed by FOX4 didn’t address President Trump or his recent tweets concerning the postal service directly.

“With 331 million people living in the United States, and us delivering 433 million pieces each day, you can see that volume. We’re ready for it,” Inglett said.

Phillip Brown, a second-generation letter carrier from Kansas City, said he’s already seeing ballots mixed with outgoing mail along his business route in the city’s West Bottoms. Brown advises his customers the U.S. Postal Service is ready to deliver ballots.

“The American public can rest assured that when we pick up our collection — when we pick up a ballot — it’s going in our first class mail. They have nothing to worry about,” Brown said.

Inglett said deadlines for mailing and receiving ballots by mail vary from county-to-county. Inglett said the U.S. Postal Service has worked closely with county officials to ensure ballot deliveries get there on time.

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