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Top Elections Official Warns Of Problems With Postal Closures

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen says she’s asking the US Postal Service for a moratorium on closing 14 mail processing facilities until after the November election. Bowen says the shut downs could mean mailed-in ballots won’t reach county elections officials in time to be counted.

A spokesman for the US Postal Service says most closures around the US will take place between June and August. Those that haven’t will then be suspended until 2013. But Bowen says that suspension isn’t good enough because she and county elections officials have seen this problem before. “Our experience last year was in several counties where there were closures, for many months afterward it took five to seven days for voted ballots to get from a voter’s home or the mailbox they used to the county elections office. Typically in the past, it’s been much shorter than that.” said Bowen

Bowen spoke before a hearing on the subject today (Tuesday) at the state Capitol. In the meantime, she and county elections officials will determine together how to advise voters on when they should mail their ballots.

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