Delays in the Icelandic and U.S. Postal Service due to COVID alongside President Trump’s campaign against the USPS is making Americans living in Iceland anxious that their votes in next month’s election won’t get counted, Vísir reports.
The US Presidential and congressional elections are being held on Tuesday, November 3rd and Americans in Iceland—as citizens of the U.S.—can vote via postal ballot issued by the county or state. Trump is well-know for his recent attacks on postal ballots, claiming that they will lead to huge electoral fraud and inaccurate results. On top of this, news of a slowdown in the West Coast postal service has led to concerns about the safety of people’s votes. This is combined by the massive delays in shipping from Europe and Iceland to the statues due to the current pandemic.
Alongside these delays, Americans in Iceland have criticised the U.S. embassy for not doing more to help them vote this year, despite many people believing this is the most important Presidential election in decades.
More postal votes than ever before
Postal votes, and the way in which they are handled, has become a huge uncertainty in the results of the election. President Trump has repeatedly argued, without proof, that postal votes will allow for mass voter fraud because many states are offering more postal votes than ever before to avoid the risk of COVID-19 infection and spread in polling stations. Trump has even gone as far as to say that he will not admit defeat if he loses unless the postal vote is stopped.
Usually, when sending a postal ballot to America by regular mail from Iceland, it should arrive in one week. This year, people are being told it will take at least 3 weeks. Brynjar Smári Rúnarsson, Information Officer for the Post, says that mail from Iceland to the U.S. can be expected to be on the road for longer than usual due to COVID-19 and the surroundings restrictions. There are examples of postal votes from Iceland taking up to seven weeks to reach their destination in America, and many voters are concerned that their votes will not reach the electoral commissions in time, and that, once there, the president will prevent postal votes from being counted.
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