Gary Palmer urges USPS to date-stamp all mail-in ballots to ensure election integrity
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06) on Wednesday sent a letter to United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy requesting that legible postmarks — including a date stamp — be required for all mail-in ballots this general election, in order to preserve the integrity of voting process and safeguard every American vote.
Palmer, as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, is the fifth-highest ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The letter was cosigned by Rep. James Comer (R-KY), ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations.
The three members of Congress expressed their concern that there is not currently a uniform USPS process regarding postmarking ballots returned by mail, including absentee ballots sent via mail.
“Currently, the U.S. Postal Service does not typically postmark mail-in ballots with prepaid postage,” they explained.
The GOP representatives warned that the validity of ballots returned without postmarks could be brought into question because there would be no way to prove if each ballot was mailed on time.
“We believe that for the sake of the integrity of this election, policy should be changed and that a legible postmark date be affixed to all ballots, including those with prepaid postage,” they wrote. “We are respectfully calling on you to implement this requirement so that at least the issue of the timeliness of the ballots will not be in question.”
They pointed to a tight congressional primary in New York earlier this year as evidence the USPS must act ahead of November. That contested race, according to a report by House committees, featured thousands of un-postmarked ballots, which fomented “uncertainty, inaccuracy, and litigation in the election results.”
In a statement, Palmer emphasized the need to postmark all ballots.
“This is a vital step to protect the integrity of the vote,” he stated. “In an election year that will see millions more mail-in ballots than usual, it is more important than ever that the timeliness of those ballots be easily determined to prevent fraud, late voting, and confusion on election day and beyond.”
For information on Alabama’s election and voting procedures, visit the secretary of state’s website here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn