CHICAGO (CBS) — For months, we have exposed mail delays hitting Chicago neighborhoods hard.
On Tuesday night, CBS 2’s Tara Molina took us to West Englewood, where one woman just wants to make her vote count. But she fears her mail-in ballot will never see the light of day.
West Englewood is one of the neighborhoods where people say they’re waiting more than a week on mail – mail for which they can’t afford to wait another week.
“First time it’s been this long,” said Geneva Williams.
Williams has seen a lot in the neighborhood, from the porch of the house she’s called home for more than 55 of her 78 years.
“No bills. No personal mail,” Williams said.
But she says she’s seen mail issues like she’s seeing now. She and her son, Randy, said me they haven’t seen a thing in their mailbox or at their doorstep other than Amazon deliveries in more than a week.
“I usually get at least eight, nine pieces of mail a day,” Williams said.
And with the Election Day just a week away, Williams’ mail-in ballot believed to be in the mail she’s missing. Now she and her son are worried about her chance to vote.
“I would love to vote!” Williams said.
Both of them are considered high-risk for COVID-19.
“I’m post double transplant,” said Randy Williams.
When they tried to figure out what’s going on with their mail with a call to the Post Office, Randy Williams told Molina the explanation they got.
“She said ‘Well, we’re short staffed,’” he said.
So we started looking into it.
We reached out to the U.S. Postal Service with the Williamses’ concerns, and the delay in the West Englewood neighborhood.
The Chicago office’s representative got back to Molina with a statement, claiming there are no processing or delivery delays there and going on to say their number one priority is the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s election mail. This is the full statement from spokesman Tim Norman:
“With a record number of people across the country voting by mail, the U.S. Postal Service’s number one priority between now and the November election is the secure, timely delivery of the nation’s Election Mail.
“USPS continues to process an historic volume of political and election mail this season.
“Regarding mail delivery in the 6400 block of South Wolcott, postal management is unaware of any processing or delivery delays in that area.
The 630,000 women and men of the Postal Service are deeply committed to our longstanding role in the electoral process, and we are actively working to deliver in this election season.”
“Is mail being lost?” said Randy Williams.
The Williamses said that secure, timely delivery is not happening in their neighborhood, whether USPS recognizes the delay or not.
I want to vote!” Geneva Williams said again.
A spokesperson for the Cook County Clerk’s office said as of Tuesday, they have received more than five times the number of requests for mail-in ballots this election compared to last, and they’re doing their best to tackle that increase.
Meanwhile, the Williamses said more than 40 pieces of mail were dropped off at their hours Wednesday morning after the story aired Tuesday night.
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