November 29, 2022

STAMP THIS OUT: US Postal Service rejects absentee ballot from military wife

STAMP THIS OUT: US Postal Service rejects absentee ballot from military wife

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With just a week until the 2022 midterm election, absentee voters are facing roadblocks while exercising their constitutional rights. Washington resident Jenn Marie alleges a United States Postal worker refused to take her mail-in-ballot, telling Marie that he could “refuse service to anyone.”

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In a TikTok video posted in October, the military wife stood outside of a local postal branch in Arling, Washington, holding her rejected ballot with the caption:

“Sir, I will literally buy a plane ticket to PA before you stifle my vote,” adding, “Tell me you live in MAGA country, without telling me you live in MAGA country, Ok I’ll go first.”

Visibly upset, the dejected voter said in the video:

“I am  actually a resident of the state of Pennsylvania because my wife is in the Navy. So I have to vote absentee. And here trying to mail my government pre-paid absentee ballot request and the man at this counter, at this lovely USPS paid for by the government which my wife so diligently serves, literally said I have the right to refuse service to anybody, so you’re gonna have to take that somewhere else.

Watch the video below.

@_jenn_marie_ Sir I will literally buy a plane ticket to PA before you stifle my vote. #vote #FomotionalFinds #usps @United States Postal Service #pnw #washington #militaryfamily #militarywife #audacity ♬ original sound – Jenn Marie


On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the USPS told the Daily Dot that Marie’s ballot wasn’t accepted because the absentee voter  “didn’t follow official ballot instructions.” Elaborating in an email to journalists, the postal service representative said, “The item presented was not a secure, addressed mailpiece and therefore was not accepted for mailing. Our employee tried to assist the voter by offering an envelope for sale.”

They went on to call Marie “disruptive” to USPS business.

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Marie acknowledges she couldn’t drop her ballot in a traditional mailbox, because she didn’t have the required envelope for mailing in her vote – which she explains is the reason she went to that particular location. Told by workers at another post office they were out of the envelopes, they directed Marie to Smokey Point.

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“He pretended these envelopes did not exist when in fact I knew they existed because one it says that they exist, and two, the guy at the other post office said they existed.”

Eventually able to mail her ballot at another post office, Marie’s experience is a wake-up call to those wanting to cast absentee ballots because they aren’t in their home state – for whatever reason. Over 170,000 servicemen and women are currently serving overseas and three million eligible U.S. voters live abroad. The 2020 election saw a record number of absentee ballot requests.

Americans, wherever they live in the nation or the world, have the constitutionally protected right to have their voices heard.

Knowing your rights, in addition to knowing the rules of the jurisdiction you live is paramount to insuring no vote goes uncounted. Marie is convinced that what happened to her at the Smokey Point branch was nothing short of an attempt at “voter interference.”

Original reporting by Rebekah Harding at the Daily Dot

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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