In a related story, the White House disclosed Wednesday that President Bush has accepted Karl Rove’s resignation as chief political advisor. Rove has decided, for reasons that are unclear, to accept instead a position as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier in Florida… :)
Seriously, the odds of that much mail just up and dissapearing without some kind of malicious intent is rather unlikely. Believe me, as a former postal carrier I know. The penalties for messing with mail are HUGE.
Actually David, I can tell you from my congressional staffer experience that the real problem with bulk mailing isn’t the individual carriers in the post-sort phase, but rather when the bulk mail is delivered to the USPS distribution centers in orange bags. There are special rules to protect campaign mail, and official mailers from your congressman tend to get treated as such (and are thus more protected) even though they are technically not campaign material. However, ballots most likely wouldn’t be mistaken for campaign material, and the odds of a bag accidentally being thrown in the corner to be dealt with later, and ultimately lost and unaccounted for, are slightly greater with government-source mailings. If I had to bet money, though, I’d say that the mistake was made in the delivery to the USPS distribution center by whatever firm was hired to print the ballots, and thus represents a government/print-job screw-up, and not a USPS screw-up.
“I’d say that the mistake was made in the delivery to the USPS distribution center by whatever firm was hired to print the ballots, and thus represents a government/print-job screw-up, and not a USPS screw-up.”
I agree, Andrew. / Probably another vital Government function foolishly Outsourced to the Private sector…if we could just keep this stuff within the confines of the Real World we’d be OK…waw haw haw… :)
I’ve never been either a postal carrier or a congressional staffer but I can tell you from my elections-officer experience that the USPS quite understandably Gears Up, very seriously, for special priority handling of Ballots-by-mail of all kinds, whose Officially-supplied Outer Envelopes (always assuming the idiot Voters remember to Use them :) have special Imprimaturs & Bar-codes etc. to Flag them. The USPS does a good job with this. Not a Perfect job — who does, apart from Boeing Co.? :) — but a damn Good one. / Of course any organization has a Breaking point. That’s what the voting-Go-Postal enthusiasts should Ruminate on. :)
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