The U.S. Postal Service missed the court-ordered deadline to sweep mail-processing facilities for missing election ballots that could number in the hundreds of thousands.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the sweep after the Postal Service said it could not say whether more than 300,000 ballots received in its facilities had been delivered.
The sweep was to happen in 12 postal districts, including in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, and had until 3:30 p.m. to finish the task.
The Postal Service said it was unable to conduct the sweep because it would have disrupted its Election Day activities, so it continued its preplanned daily review process and try to deliver remaining ballots.
Sullivan admonished federal officials to be prepared to "discuss the apparent lack of compliance" at a hearing.
Reports of undelivered ballots cropped up over the weekend, including in Miami-Dade County, Florida. A sweep of the Princetown Post Office in Miami found 62 ballots.
A missed deadline is the second most common reason for rejected absentee ballots across the U.S., behind non-matching signatures.
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