The Everyday Americans Guide to Election Malarky

What Happened, What We Know, and What Comes Next

US District Court Judge Sullivan’s order to Postmaster Louis DeJoy, which DeJoy defied with shocking impunity, was to deliver all ballots for Lakeland (Tampa) and South Florida (Miami). This exchange looks worrisome in context. 

Dejoy was placed at the head of USPS midsummer and has received a lot of criticism for not knowing how much basic postage costs and for being a Trump megadonor.

Florida cannot be called until this is sorted out, and the hearing is tomorrow at noon. Dejoy is in contempt of court, but then again, Roger Stone lied to Congress before having his sentence commuted by the President. 

Sullivan ordered the Postal Service to sweep facilities in regions with particularly sluggish delivery times, and told the agency to complete its work by 3 p.m. in order to rush-deliver any lingering ballots.

USPS turned down a federal judge’s order to sweep mail processing facilities serving 15 states, saying it would stick to its own inspection schedule.

No, we did not know you could turn down a judge’s order and do not recommend trying it. 


The order came after the agency disclosed that more than 300,000 ballots could not be traced.


The Postal Service said the deadline was too difficult to meet. We do not recommend you try this at home. 

Samuel Spital, the litigation director at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, one of the groups suing the Postal Service, said the blown deadline underscored why lawsuits were necessary, to begin with. 

“USPS’s failure to fully comply with today’s order from a federal court is unacceptable, and demonstrates precisely why oversight has been necessary to ensure that all ballots are delivered in a timely fashion,” he said.

“Judge Sullivan has issued several orders over the past week designed to ensure that fundamental goal is satisfied.”

The 300,000 ballots, many of which were found stashed in mailrooms around Florida, remain undelivered.

Below is the original order from Judge Sullivan and the missing ballots and locations. 

Undelivered Ballots & Locations

The over one-quarter million ballots not delivered in defiance of a federal judge means Florida cannot be called on Nov 3, 2020. 

Judge Sullivan has said the  Postal Service appears to have failed to comply with his order and suggests USPS “be prepared to discuss the apparent lack of compliance with the court’s order” at a noon hearing tomorrow, Nov 4th. 


State Deadlines and After Election Voting Rules 

Meanwhile, USPS trying to deliver lingering ballots as expeditiously as possible. There’s just one problem: Dozens of states will reject ballots that arrive after Election Day. 

The last, and perhaps the most important part of this situation, is the circumstances surrounding the delays. Voters requested them in time to vote, so why weren’t they delivered?

After DeJoy took over USPS mid-summer, on-time delivery sharply declined, especially in battleground states from August onward. 

We graphed the data so readers can fully appreciate the decline in service. Consulting a freight industry professional, we were told that the on-time delivery numbers after August were appalling and that anything below 90% was unacceptable by most industry standards. 

If delivery fell that much, the informed outside commenter explained, it’s either being mismanaged or there is a critical systemic problem that should have been remedied. 


Nov 3, 2020 11:00PM EST

USPS just disclosed more court-ordered data. It continues to blame delays in key swing states on Covid-19 and “employee unavailability.”

The Trump campaign has been open about aiming to go in with lawyers as soon as polls close to try to have the delayed ballots thrown out as inadmissible. 

The impact is the same as deleting votes with a computer program, but the optics are more socially acceptable. 

A complete report of the delayed locations and inbound outbound delivery scores here, but there is a pattern in the delayed areas. 

Many are locations that favor Biden, locations where a delayed ballot = inability to vote. 


Nov 3, 2020

Minnesota Supreme Court dismisses GOP caucus challenge to late-arriving ballots.
A federal appeals court ruling requiring segregation of ballots for the potential removal of counts still applies for ballots arriving after Nov 3, pending additional litigation.
This is a likely approach the current president will take, given that he has said he would on multiple occasions.


Edited Nov 4, 2020  10:00AM EST

Per Reuters: 

Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told a former top aide to stop providing assessments of the threat of Russian interference in the Nov. 3 election and to play down U.S. white supremacist activity, according to a whistleblower complaint released on Wednesday.

Russian State-Sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat Actor Compromises U.S. Government Targets

National Cyber Awareness System
Original release date: October 22, 2020

Since at least September 2020, a Russian state-sponsored APT actor—known variously as Berserk Bear, Energetic Bear, TeamSpy, Dragonfly, Havex, Crouching Yeti, and Koala in open-source reporting—has conducted a campaign against a wide variety of U.S. targets. The Russian state-sponsored APT actor has targeted dozens of SLTT government and aviation networks, attempted intrusions at several SLTT organizations, successfully compromised network infrastructure, and as of October 1, 2020, exfiltrated data from at least two victim servers.

The Russian-sponsored APT actor is obtaining user and administrator credentials to establish initial access, enable lateral movement once inside the network, and locate high-value assets in order to exfiltrate data. In at least one compromise, the APT actor laterally traversed an SLTT victim network and accessed documents related to:

  • Sensitive network configurations and passwords.
  • Standard operating procedures (SOP), such as enrolling in multi-factor authentication (MFA).
  • IT instructions, such as requesting password resets.
  • Vendors and purchasing information.
  • Printing access badges.


Edited Nov 4, 2020  10:48AM EST

New USPS data appears to show a failure to deliver mail ballots from voters across the country on Election Day. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan will hold a noon hearing over USPS’ non-compliance with his order yesterday to rush deliver all remaining mail ballots.

In South Florida USPS failed to return 25+% of completed ballots, as an example. 





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