A viral social media video that showed a backlog of mail reportedly in a Miami-area post office has prompted a Florida state attorney to launch an audit of postal facilities ahead of next week’s election.
The audit comes amid concerns of the post office’s handling of ballots this election season, with some ballots taking over a week to be delivered within the same county.
“I have requested that all postal distribution centers be audited and any and all ballots that may remain in these centers be immediately transported to the Department of Elections,” said Katherine Fernandez Dundle, Miami state attorney for the 11th judicial circuit, serving Miami-Dade County. “I further understand that administrative action was taken by the Office of the Inspector General regarding the employee's negligence at the Princeton distribution center.”
The video that went viral was posted by Florida’s House of Representatives Minority Leader Kionee McGhee, who is a Democrat. McGhee claimed that mail had been sitting in the Florida mail facility for over a week.
Raw footage of mailroom in post office here in Miami Dade. Source revealed “mail in ballots are within these piled up in bins on the floor. Mail has been sitting for over week!.” @AmandiOnAir @PeterSchorschFL @MarcACaputo @GlennaWPLG @CNNPolitics @NewsbySmiley @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/DO8jx1VUnz
— Dem House Leader (@kionnemcghee) October 30, 2020
The Miami Herald confirmed that postal inspectors visited the facility later on Friday, but that USPS wouldn't elaborate, only to say it was looking into the matter.
Mark Travers, South Florida president for the National Association of Letter Carriers, confirmed to the Miami Herald that ballots were among the mail items that piled up inside of the South Florida post office. He claimed he told managers a week ago about the issue.
"It shouldn’t look like that — it shouldn’t be that backed up,” Travers told the Miami Herald. “No one person could clear that out in one day. It should not be that backed up. It needs to be moving out quicker.”
Earlier this month, the National Association of Letter Carriers announced the formation of an election task force in order to ensure confidence in the mail-in vote.
“Over the past several months, there has been a concerted effort by some to cast doubt on the security of vote by mail and on the ability of the Postal Service to meet the expected surge in vote by mail this year. We have pushed back on this narrative and communicated that we are confident we will rise to the occasion,” the organization said in a statement.
Florida is expected to play a key role in next week's election given its status as one of the largest swing states that traditionally holds close elections.
The USPS said earlier this week that 97.5% of all measured First-Class Mail was delivered within five days across the country.