An “absolutely disturbing” revelation has emerged as US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, remain in a tight race to the White House.
"The pressing issues are where are the ballots and how do we get them delivered so they can be counted," US District Judge Emmet Sullivan said.
USPS data showed about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not have scans confirming their delivery to election authorities.
While ballots may be delivered without scans, voting rights groups fear mail delays could cause at least some of those votes to be disqualified.
US Postal Service questioned on undelivered ballots
The US judge has ordered Postmaster General Louise DeJoy to answer questions about why the USPS failed to complete a court-ordered sweep for undelivered ballots in about a dozen states before the deadline of Tuesday afternoon (local time).
MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin tweeted the revelation of the unaccounted for ballots was “absolutely disturbing”, with the USPS also reporting a low delivery score in key battleground states including Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The delivery score in Atlanta is 82.2 per cent while Central Pennsylvania reports 61.3 per cent and Philadelphia 66.3 per cent, according to the anchor’s tweet.
In Detroit, the delivery score is 78.86 per cent.
The postal service processed 93.3 per cent of ballots on Election Day, but seven per cent remain unaccounted for, The Washington Post reported.
It is still significantly below the 97 per cent target postal and voting experts say is necessary.
Despite the order in response to lawsuits by groups including Vote Forward, the NAACP and Latino community advocates, the USPS said the sweep by the 3pm Tuesday (local time) deadline was not logistically possible.
It is of particular concern as even the smallest number of ballots could turn the tide in highly contested states like Wisconsin and Michigan, two areas that do not accept any ballots after Election Day.
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