Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Bill protecting vote by mail and election workers introduced in Senate

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and 11 bipartisan cosponsors introduced the Enhanced Election Security and Protection Act (S. 4574), which would increase penalties for crimes against election workers and create the Postal Service Election Improvement Act.

The Postal Service Election Improvement Act would require the Postal Service to issue best practice guidance for election officials, designate advisors to ensure the proper handling of election mail and create standard election mail design and formatting. Additionally, it would require USPS to process election mail the Sunday before an election, postmark all ballot envelopes, allow for extended hours as needed for election purposes, and stop any changes that might impede service 90 days before a federal election.

NALC has been actively involved in ensuring that all election mail is handled appropriately. NALC, along with other postal unions and management organizations, is a member of the Postal Service’s Election Task Force, which was established in 2020. At the height of the pandemic, this task force worked together to continue and develop new protocols and processes to ensure the proper handling of all election mail. As a result, in the 2020 election 99.89% of voters’ ballots were delivered to election officials within seven days.

Outside of the Postal Service, the bill would reauthorize the Election Assistance Commission for another five years and require cyber security testing as part of its voting system testing and certification program. It would also increase the penalties for those who knowingly steal, damage or alter election records and make it illegal to tamper with voting systems. 

NALC will update letter carriers on any future action.

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