The Postal Service Survived The Election. But It Was Crushed By Holiday Packages.

In December, amid a crush of packages and record numbers of coronavirus cases, service performance across the U.S. Postal Service network plummeted to the lowest levels in years, with only about 64 percent of first-class mail delivered on time around Christmas.

The Postal Service was under scrutiny for months leading up to the election, when many feared that delays from operational changes would hamper the counting of mail-in ballots. By many measures, the Postal Service ultimately succeeded in delivering ballots quickly. But over the weeks that followed, during the peak holiday package season, the network grew more and more backlogged.

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Emily Badger, Quoctrung Bui & Margot Sanger-Katz