An Arlington woman says she was denied service when she tried to mail her absentee ballot request form.
ARLINGTON, Wash. – You may have seen a viral video this week in which an Arlington woman confessed her inability to submit an absentee ballot request at her local post office.
It has been viewed more than 4 million times, but the story is much more than that.
As a military spouse, Jennifer Edwards voted absentee for a decade without issue – until she walked into the Arlington post office in Smokey Point.
“Being able to go to the post office as someone moving in to a military family this summer, I can count on my post office,” she said.
Edwards posted a TikTok video showing her after she attempted to mail an absentee ballot request to her home state of Pennsylvania. The form is a single sheet with a prepaid seal printed on it. The form also contained a lot of Edwards’ personal information. She didn’t feel comfortable folding a flimsy piece of paper and putting it in the mail.
There was confusion about how to send it properly and the situation got hotter.
“He said I had the right to refuse to serve anyone,” Edwards said. “I asked him again and he still refused. At that point, it became a problem because he refused to mail the ballot request.”
A spokesman for the postal service blamed the problem on inappropriate postage and packaging, adding, “The United States Postal Service is fully committed between now and the November election to deliver the nation’s Election Letters securely and in a timely manner.”
But for Edwards, it was a much bigger problem. By denying her service, Edwards believes the postal worker placed a barrier between her and her ballot.
“Postal workers should be familiar with all of these ballots arriving and needing to be mailed,” she said. “Training the staff that are handling these things is a huge problem with the USPS right now, but they don’t acknowledge it.”
The video eventually made its way to the desk of Snohomish County election man Garth Fell. After reviewing, he contacted local post offices to ensure that staff knew how to handle absence requests.
“It provides a training opportunity for them to give information to their employees so they know these forms are available to voters and they can come to their counter,” Fell said.
For Edwards, it’s about accountability. She hopes her story will help break down barriers for those trying to vote out of state.
“If they don’t know how to handle it, they should ask for help,” Edwards said. And customer service denial shouldn’t be anything they say.
Edwards eventually received her request in the mail at another post office.
Fell, Auditor of Snohomish County, advises that if you have any questions about absentee voting, do not take any chances and call your auditor or elections office in the state you are voting in. Registered.
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https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/elections/viral-video-voting-concerns/281-1175a53b-b2bc-479a-9dea-d5f4455bbc4f Arlington woman’s TikTok video about absentee ballot goes viral