Secretary of state issues statement after conference call with U.S. Postmaster General
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued the following statement after a call between U.S. Postmaster General Tom DeJoy and secretaries of state from across the nation.
“Following the nationwide distribution of a postcard by the U.S. Postal Service with misleading information on vote-by-mail that created voter confusion in many states, I have been concerned that additional elements of the USPS’ public information campaign could cause further confusion. On today’s call with the National Association of Secretaries of State, I asked USPS Postmaster General DeJoy for his commitment to work with elections officials to refine messaging before disseminating any future public education materials. He committed to doing so, and I expect him to honor the commitment.
“I also shared with them findings from my recent trip to a mail processing plant in Los Angeles, and asked if there was a plan to handle the increase in letter mail volume as ballots, voter information guides and a large influx of political mail go out in the coming weeks. While federal USPS leaders assured me they have daily reviews of mail conditions and staffing levels, I will request regular updates and reports to confirm that regional and local postal service facilities have the resources they need to process election mail in a timely manner.
“USPS also committed to share the written directives given to letter carriers and other employees on how to handle elections mail.
“The USPS is a critical partner in ensuring free, fair elections. Providing transparency to the public, while maintaining the service citizens expect and deserve, is a must. I will continue to monitor any developments with the postal service as we enter the final stretch of this election.”
California voters can sign-up for the Secretary of State’s “Where’s My Ballot?” tool at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov. Voters who sign-up will receive automatic updates by text, email or voice call on the status of their vote-by-mail ballot. This allows voters to know their vote-by-mail ballot has been mailed to them and when their cast ballot has safely arrived to county officials and has been counted.