No excuses.

With less than a week to go until Election Day, DC Circuit Judge Emmet Sullivan — whom you may remember as the judge who doesn't suffer fools gladly from the Michael Flynn case — granted an emergency motion by plaintiffs in a vote-by-mail lawsuit. Sullivan ordered the US Postal Service to absolutely positively do everything in its power to deliver ballots in time to meet states' Election Day deadlines. Multiple federal judges, including Sullivan in a separate case, have already ordered the USPS to rescind the "restructuring" rules that Donald Trump's pet Postmaster General Louis DeJoy put in place during the summer, which had caused mail slowdowns, sometimes by weeks.

Sullivan's latest, very specific order is more of a red sharpie underlining those previous orders, with "SEE ME IMMEDIATELY" in the margins.


Specifically, the order focuses in on one particular part of DeJoy's May rules, which had sought to "cut costs" by preventing postal carriers from making late or extra delivery trips outside of their scheduled daily routes. That rule had caused mail to pile up, unsorted, at post offices. While the rule had already been reversed by other orders, Sullivan wanted to make it absolutely clear, and ordered that by "by no later than 9:00 AM" today, all USPS workers were to be reminded that the rule on late or extra deliveries hadn't just been rescinded, but that they be specifically informed that

USPS personnel are instructed to perform late and extra trips to the maximum extent necessary to increase on-time mail deliveries, particularly for Election Mail. To be clear, late and extra trips should be performed to the same or greater degree than they were performed prior to July 2020 when doing so would increase on-time mail deliveries. Any prior communication that is inconsistent with this instruction should be disregarded.

Yes, that's a federal judge dictating the language of a memo to all USPS workers. No wiggle room for managers there, just judicial badassery.

In addition, Sullivan will be doing some very direct oversight of the USPS. He

instructed the Postal Service to send him daily updates on the number of extra and late trips occurring every day at national, regional and local levels, in addition to information about on-time deliveries. And starting Wednesday, the agency and the plaintiffs who sued USPS will meet in a daily video conference to discuss status updates of how the agency is complying with Sullivan's order.

That's excellent news for people who have already gotten their absentee ballots in the mail; for anyone who has a mail-in ballot they haven't yet sent, like me, Yr Wonkette advises that you take your ballot to your local elections office or drop box or plan to vote in person if necessary. [DOK!!!!!!!!!!!!! — Editrix] (Again, Vote.org can refer you to your state's elections office for the details.)

As Rachel Maddow reported last night, there are still millions of absentee ballots nationwide that were requested by voters but which haven't yet been returned.

Lots of possible reasons for those unreturned ballots: Some may be in transit, others may have been requested by people who decided to vote in person, and plenty just went to procrastinators like Yours Truly. (I assure you, I will be getting mine to the county elections office this afternoon!) [DOK I LITERALLY CANNOT BELIEVE THIS WHAT EVEN THE FUCK.]

And a great big thank you to Judge Sullivan for keeping the Postal Service honest.

[CNN / Politico]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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