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UPS, FedEx warn they cannot carry ballots like USPS

As the fight over voting by mail grows in the U.S. leading up to November’s presidential election, on Friday private delivery companies UPS and FedEx shot down social media calls that they step in to deliver mail-in ballots from the U.S. Postal Service.

This comes as USPS warned states of potentially "significant" delays.

In a statement exclusively to Reuters, UPS said (quote):

“State ballots must be postmarked to be considered valid and only the USPS has lawful postmarking status. Therefore UPS, FedEx and other private parties cannot technically be involved in shipping ballots.”

While FedEx responded (quote):

"FedEx does accept individual ballots, and we advise that customers planning to return their ballots via FedEx should closely review their state's guidelines on absentee voting and deadlines for ballots or related election documents."

All this taking place while President Donald Trump on Thursday said he opposed providing funds for the struggling Postal Service for mail voting, which is expected to surge to 50% as the coronavirus pandemic rages ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

The Postal Service said on Friday it has written to 46 states and the District of Columbia warning there is a significant risk voters will not have enough time to complete and return their ballots.

There are other hurdles that these private companies would face…

While the USPS touches every U.S. mailbox six days a week, other companies visit only when they have a delivery or a pre-arranged pickup.

The other issue is cost...

According to Tammy Patrick, a former Arizona election official and senior advisor to the Democracy Fund foundation, domestic costs would skyrocket, since delivery firms charge significantly more for deliveries than the price of a 55-cent stamp while international costs would be “astronomical.”

Video Transcript

REPORTER: As the fight over voting by mail grows in the US leading up to November's presidential election, on Friday private delivery companies UPS and FedEx shot down social media calls that they step in to deliver mail-in ballots from the US Postal Service. This comes as USPS warned states of potentially significant delays.

In a statement exclusively to Reuters, UPS said, quote, state ballots must be postmarked to be considered valid. And only the USPS has lawful postmarking status. Therefore, UPS, FedEx and other private parties cannot technically be involved in shipping ballots.

While FedEx responded, quote, FedEx does not accept individual ballots. And we advise that customers planning to return their ballots via FedEx should closely review their state's guidelines on absentee voting and deadlines for ballots or related election documents.

All this taking place while President Donald Trump on Thursday said he opposed providing funds for the struggling Postal Service for mail voting, which is expected to surge 50% as the coronavirus pandemic rages ahead of the November 3 presidential election. The Postal Service said on Friday it has written to 46 states and the District of Columbia warning there is a significant risk voters will not have enough time to complete and return their ballots.

There are other hurdles that these private companies would face. While the USPS touches every US mailbox six days a week, other companies visit only when they have a delivery or a prearranged pickup.

The other issue is cost. According to Tammy Patrick, a former Arizona election official and senior advisor to the Democracy Fund foundation, domestic costs would skyrocket, since delivery firms charge significantly more for deliveries than the price of a $0.55 stamp while international costs would be, quote, astronomical.