Data obtained by The Associated Press shows U.S. Postal Service districts across the nation are missing the agency’s own standards for on-time delivery as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail.
The lag times are especially pronounced in key regions of some battleground states, where delivery times are below the national average.
That raises the possibility that scores of mailed ballots could miss deadlines for reaching local election offices if voters wait too long.
Missing a deadline is one of the key reasons mail-in ballots get rejected.
Postal service leaders have said the agency will prioritize election mail.
The USPS strongly recommends that voters request their mail-in ballots at the earliest point allowable, but no later than 15 days prior to Election Day, which is on Nov. 3.
The USPS also recommends that voters mail their ballots at least one week prior to their states' due dates to allow for timely receipt by election officials.
If you don’t want to rely on the USPS to deliver your ballot to election officials, many communities provide locations where you can drop your ballot off yourself.
Click here for learn more from the USPS about voting by mail.